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Can anyone tell me what this is a picture of?

  1. Aug 18, 2006 #1

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  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 20, 2006 #2

    benorin

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    Looks like charged particles moving under the influence of an E-M field in a bubble chamber.
     
  4. Aug 20, 2006 #3
    Yeah, the white lines are tiny bubbles left behind by the movement of the particles.

    This looks like a photograph of a photograph, like that picture is spread out on a table, but you might be able to see that already.
     
  5. Aug 20, 2006 #4

    jcsd

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    My first instinct was the Nazca lines in peru, but it is defintely phtos of particle tracks in a cloud chamber.
     
  6. Aug 22, 2006 #5

    mathwonk

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    a picasso drawing of a very skinny woman, but very beautiful.
     
  7. Aug 22, 2006 #6

    chroot

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    Nice one, mathwonk. It is indeed a bubble-chamber image of a particle physics experiment.

    The curled lines are charged particles interacting with the chamber's magnetic field. Negatively charged particles spiral in one direction, while positively charged particles spiral in the other.

    - Warren
     
  8. Aug 24, 2006 #7
    Astronomic orbits and trajectories of celestial bodies? The circular polar-like shapes could be effects of orbits...

    Did you draw it in your lunch break and asked us to see what we come up with? :D
     
  9. Aug 24, 2006 #8

    DaveC426913

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    Something I've never understood about cloud chamber tracks:

    Why do the particles follow circular paths rather than hyperbolic paths? Once a particle is deflected in, say, the + direction, why wouldn't it race off that way?

    I think my confusion may have to do with my assumptions about the arrangment of chamber and magnetic field. I've always assumed it is like a TV tube - the particles come in straight, pass through a "window" of high magnetism, and are deflected to the left or right as they emerge. But once they emerge, they should be on straight paths again.

    I think I see. It's not a "window" that the particles pass through, it's circular and completely envelops the chamber.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2006
  10. Aug 25, 2006 #9

    chroot

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    The magnetic field is applied perpindicularly to the chamber's plate-glass viewing aperture. Charged particles experience forces at right angles to their motion, which is essentially confined to the plane of the bubble chamber. They therefore make "circles." Repeated collisions with the gas in the bubble chamber, however, causes those orbits to decay, forming spirals.

    - Warren
     
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