Is This It?
February 25, 2005 2:35 PM   Subscribe

Bubble Chambers are used to observe the tracks of subatomic particles at extremely high resolution. The photographs taken of these tracks are often stunningly beautiful and elegant. This website contains a java applet which simulates a bubble chamber, to gorgeous effect.
posted by mayfly wake (12 comments total)
These are beautiful. I love stuff like this.
posted by LeeJay at 2:51 PM on February 25, 2005

Oh yeah. I've always been a fan of bubble chamber plates. Its physics and the particle tracks also have an abstract beauty to them. Here's a small collection from my bookmarks that I found on the web some time back when I spent a couple hours or so just looking for bubble chamber photographs.
posted by vacapinta at 2:54 PM on February 25, 2005

I also want to add that bubble chambers themselves are kind of futuristic cool.
posted by vacapinta at 3:03 PM on February 25, 2005

This was a like a walk back down memory lane! I'd forgotten just how cool bubble chambers are. Thanks for the reminder!
posted by fenriq at 3:17 PM on February 25, 2005

Um, a discription of the applet says that it does not try to simulate actual quantum phenomena. Just FYI.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 3:34 PM on February 25, 2005

Nice stuff - thanks! The simulations are kinda Mandelbroty.
posted by carter at 3:42 PM on February 25, 2005

See also.
posted by Wolfdog at 3:48 PM on February 25, 2005

Do you want to observe cosmic rays? Can you get some liquid nitrogen or dry ice? This tells you how to see them easily. You can make one of these with some foam, an old coffee pot, alcohol and some LN2. It's really cool, especially the magnet thing, which is also why the bubble tracks show that characteristic spin thing. Anywhere that two spirals spin away from one another, that's some particle without charge turning into two particles with opposite charges, which then are pushed in opposite but identical paths by the magnetic field.
posted by apathy0o0 at 4:15 PM on February 25, 2005

Also - The Strokes
posted by numlok at 6:08 PM on February 25, 2005

/thread title. duh...
posted by numlok at 6:23 PM on February 25, 2005


But I have a question:

I always heard them referred to as cloud chambers.

Then again, this has been quite a while ago, and I really haven't kept in touch.
posted by Relay at 9:14 PM on February 25, 2005

Apparently a bubble chamber contains liquified gas and a cloud chamber contains a supersaturated vapor, but they do basically the same thing. Google brought up this site which says
"One disadvantage of the cloud chamber is the relatively low density of the gas, which limits the number of interactions between ionizing radiation and molecules of the gas. For this reason physicists have developed other particle detectors, notably the bubble chamber and the spark chamber."
posted by mayfly wake at 10:10 PM on February 25, 2005

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