Cloud Chamber - Individual Viewing


Observe alpha and beta particle paths with a cloud chamber.◙


Student cloud chamber with alpha and beta sources.◙

Setup Time

1 hour.




Sealed sources of alpha particles and beta particles are used with a small student cloud chamber to observe the paths of alphas and betas. The alpha paths are very distinct and clear, whereas the beta paths are more diffuse. Cosmic ray products or gamma rays are also visible, but less distinct. ◙◙The cloud chamber uses alcohol and dry ice to provide an atmosphere of supersaturated alcohol vapor which condenses along the path of the ionizing particle.


Jason Cassidy, Video Analysis of Cloud Chamber Phenomena, TPT 32, 124-125 (1994). ◙Sargent-Welch Scientific Company Instructions for use of 2195 Cloud Chamber. ◙Cloud chamber descriptions from several elementary laboratories.