Cloud Chamber Demo Project Proposal Summary

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Nov 3, 2013 (3 years and 7 months ago)

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Cloud Chamber Demo

Project Proposal






Summary



The cloud chamber, also known as the Wilson chamber, is used to visually detect
ionizing radiation through the condensation effect of supercooled, supersaturated alcohol
vapor. Carl D. Anderson, using such

a chamber, discovered the positron particle in 1932.
The Science and Engineering Club at Moorpark College hope to produce our own cloud
chamber experiment using a variety of on hand materials as the radiation source.




Estimated Costs



The estimated co
st for supplies is $300.00. Sales tax is included in this estimate.
Supplies will include plexi
-
glass for a five
-
sided cube enclosure, aluminum sheet metal,
black felt fabric, epoxy glue, dry ice, and concentrated ethanol solution. The device may
be run 2
-
4 times, depending on dry ice usage. Free pizza will be provided to participants
assisting in the chamber’s construction. Two large pizzas are estimated at a cost of $25
with tax and delivery tip.


TOTAL ESTIMATED COST: $325








CONTRIBUTORS:

Andrew Hua
rd



Ben Champion


Craig Euler


Jack Sun


Elan Levy


Cevin Freed


Steve Chenevert


Dan Strengier


Michael Kuzmanouic


Rad Amiminad


Julio Andrino


Chris Tuten Njian


Mark Edwards


Hsiangchin Yeh






MOORPARK COLLEGE

SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING CLUB

BACKGROUN
D


The cloud chamber consists of an enclosure containing superchilled air, which is
supersaturated with ethanol alcohol. It works through the condensation effect of ionic
charges traveling through the supersaturated solution. Similar to the ‘trailing cloud
’ effect
of high altitude airplanes, these particles act as condensation nuclei around which a mist
may form.


The chamber must be cooled to the cusp of condensation for the air
-
alcohol
mixture, which is slightly above the temperature of dry ice (
-
109.3 °F
). A five
-
sided
acrylic cube is placed on top of an aluminum metal sheet to seal the enclosure from
external heat. Dry ice is placed below the metal sheet, which conducts heat away from air
inside of the enclosure until equilibrium is met roughly around th
e temperature of dry ice.
Since the system reaches equilibrium well below the condensation temperature of the
mixture, the desired effect is only temporary

on the order of 10
-
15 minutes.


Several particles may be identified when using the cloud chamber und
er a
uniform magnetic field. These include alpha, beta, and positron particles, each with their
own distinctive paths. Carl D. Anderson used a similar apparatus to discover the positron
particle in 1932.



PURPOSE


Members of the Science and Engineering Cl
ub at Moorpark College seek to gain
hands
-
on experience in science by applying theory learned in the classroom to build
interesting science
-
related demos.



The completed, working apparatus shall be donated to the physics department at
the end of the exper
iment. We hope it will serve as a useful aide in classroom discussions
on nuclear physics.



MATERIALS COSTS



The design will utilize the following in its construction and operation:


Item

Estimated Cost (dollars)

Tax (dollars)

5
-
sided plexi
-
glass cube (
18’’ x 18’’ x 12’’)

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Aluminum sheet metal (2’ x 2’)



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325


ASSEMBLY



Figure 1



The 5
-
sided plexi
-
glass cube is to be assembled as in figure 1. The sides are
adhered using epoxy glue. The cube is to be placed on a sheet of aluminum with dry ice
below the sheet. The radiation source will rest on black fe
lt to enhance the color contrast
of any condensation paths. Additionally, black felt may be placed on two of the sides for
even more contrast.



ACKNOWLEGEMENTS



Special thanks to Scott MacLeod for his assistance in parts selection and
supplying the radia
tion source. His help has been invaluable.


I would also like to thank the contributors. The contributions of Elan Levy, Jack
Sun, Scott Selleh, and Steve Chenevert have been especially helpful.


Additional thanks are in order for Ben Champion for introdu
cing the cloud
chamber concept in the 11/16/2006 meeting of the Science and Engineering Club. We
appreciate his ideas and initiative.







___________________________


Andrew Huard


President, Sci. and Engr. Club