bubble chamber

The 15-Foot Bubble Chamber located in SiDet’s courtyard is possibly the largest lawn ornament on Fermilab’s 6,800 acres — a marvel to behold, especially when set off by brown-eyed susans.

Greg Derylo took this photo using a pinhole camera fashioned from an aluminum can and a sheet of photo paper. Mounted on a fence outside Lab B facing the Fermilab bubble chamber, the camera took a 13-week-long exposure that shows the sun’s path every clear day over that period.

Although no longer operational, the 15-foot bubble chamber still gets plenty of attention. The students of Most Blessed Trinity Academy enjoy a day at Fermilab.

The 15-foot bubble chamber looks especially vintage in the fog. A bubble chamber is a device used for the detection and the study of elementary particles and nuclear reactions. Charged particles from an accelerator are introduced into a super-heated liquid, each forming a trail of bubbles along its path. The trails are photographed, and by studying such pictures scientists can identify the particles and analyze the nuclear events in which they originate. Fermilab’s 15-foot bubble chamber was commissioned in 1973. It is no longer operational.