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I Awesome cloud chamber track! (video)

  1. Mar 26, 2016 #1
    I recorded an amazing cloud chamber track tonight. It came from the direction of the sun, seemed like the angle was off slightly though. I was at 1200ft above sea level and it was 6 pm.
    I will attach a picture of my setup and a video that is typical and then the video with the awesome track.
    It was a simple cloud chamber on dry ice, with a balloon on top. It is lit internally with LED strips.
    The awesome track appears to curve, it is a domed glass chamber though. The other tracks appear straight.
    I had a thorium welding rod inside along with a piece of americium from a smoke detector.

    What was that track!?

    My setup:

    typical tracks:

    amazing track:

  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 26, 2016 #2
    A helical track? I have no idea how that could be.
  4. Mar 28, 2016 #3
    Stellarium says at that time the sun would have been at 17.5deg above the horizon. The track in the video appears to enter the chamber at an upward angle and arc in the chamber downward. The angle I was referring to was the upward entry angle being off relative to the position of the sun.

    I have no idea what it was. It was much thicker and longer than a typical alpha particle or any cosmic ray that I've ever seen in my little cloud chamber.
    I'm happy just to have caught it on tape!

  5. Mar 28, 2016 #4
    It almost appears to bounce when it gets to the far side of the chamber? Unless its a visual phenomena when it gets close to the LED light. I'm thinking maybe it was a paint flake or something flying off and it arcs that dramatically just from gravity? Seems more plausible than a massive particle that somehow curved.

  6. Mar 28, 2016 #5


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    If I move my cloud chamber or the supercooled air has substantial movement, I can get even weirder patterns than that.

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