Photographs of the spark chamber in action

Unfortunately due to the fact that each spark only lasts for a fraction of a microsecond, it has, as yet, proved impossible to show any 'live' pictures of tracks obtained from the spark chamber. If with time this becomes possible, pictures will be posted on this page. However what is shown below is a few examples of the kinds of things which can be observed on our modular spark chamber.

Figure 1(a) Photograph of the detector part of the spark chamber (16 modules, scintillation counters and PM tubes)

Figure 1(b) Schematic representation of figure 1(a)

The schematic, figure 1(b) is used to illustrate the tracks which can be observed in the spark chamber

Figure 2: Tracks in the spark chamber

Figure 3: Tracks in the spark chamber

Figures 2 and 3 show schematically the typical tracks of cosmic rays which have passed through the spark chamber. If the spark chamber was surrounded by a magnetic field, different cosmic ray particles would be deflected by different amounts, the amount of deflection would give information on the momentum of the particle detected.

Figure 4: A rare event - but still observable!

Figure 4 shows quite a rare event, but is nevertheless observable using the modular spark chamber. It shows (for example) a muon showering in the aluminium plates, or a pion interacting.. Click here to find out about cosmic rays decaying.

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