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Ganzyman's avatar

Particle spray produced in Cloud chamber?

Asked by Ganzyman (34points) March 23rd, 2008

Reading an article just now, about the possibility of micro black holes being produced in particle collisions inside the Large Hadron Collider when it is running an experiment. I started thinking about the resultant spray of particles inside a cloud chamber, after a stationary particle has been smashed into by a high speed particle coming into the chamber from outside it.

1. These high speed particles originating from outside the cloud chamber, are they cosmic rays from deep space? or are these high speed particles themselves a result of the cascade effect of a cosmic ray collision in the upper atmosphere?

2. My main question really. Am I right in thinking, that if high speed particle collisions inside the cloud chamber can cause such a spray pattern, in the cloud chamber medium (alchohol I think?) Do these same collisions happen inside our own bodies all the time?

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2 Answers

phuture84's avatar

often the high speed particles are due to upper atmosphere collissions just as you suspected, muons are often created up there. A friend of mine did a basic cloud chamber experiment looking at just that. I wouldn’t worry too much about them affecting your health though as they usually won’t interact with anything. gwrnerally

Ganzyman's avatar

Thanks for your reply. I realize now that the cloud chamber I had seen years ago at jodrell bank in the UK had a radioactive source underneath it, so the particle tracks and sprays were made by fast moving Alpha/Beta particles emanating from the Americium 241 maybe?

I wanna be lazy and ask what muons are, but I shall go and look that up now :)

Also found some good home made cloud chambers in action on youtube…

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