# Effects of Cooling and Heating in a Cloud Chamber

• B
• HotFurnace
In summary, the cooling is done at the bottom of the chamber to reduce heat flux from the hot side to the cold side, while the heating is done at the top to prevent the vapor from condensing on the cold bottom plate.
HotFurnace
Good day everybody!
As we have already known the structure and operation of the cloud chamber, can someone explain to me why the cooling is done at the bottom of the chamber and the heating at the top, but not vise versa?? How this affect the function of the cloud chamber?

Maybe because they want to reduce the heat flux from the hot side to the cold side when using alcohol as the vapor? So what about water, since it is lighter than air?

A simple cloud chamber consists of the sealed environment, a warm top plate and a cold bottom plate . It requires a source of liquid alcohol at the warm side of the chamber where the liquid evaporates, forming a vapor that cools as it falls through the gas and condenses on the cold bottom plate. So you actually want the vapor to fall.

I don't understand?? The vapor is heavier as it cooler, so the vapor closer to the cold bottom plate is cooler than the vapor layer right next to it, how could it fall down faster than when you reserve the temperature gradient?

We always want the supersaturated region as large as possible, so as to improve particles visibility. That's why I asked if reserving the cold plate could help?
I think the cold plate, if some mechanism were implemented to keep it at a appropriate constant temperature regardless of the heat flux flowing through it and are placed on the top, will provide larger supersaturated region than with the cold plate at the bottom. How could I do a calculation to prove (or disprove) it?

To preserve the tracks, you need the supersaturated region to be as undisturbed as possible. Convection eddies would distort any tracks produced if the heated surface was at the bottom.

HotFurnace and davenn
HotFurnace said:
How could I do a calculation to prove (or disprove) it?

don't need to calculate ... the experiment would be easy to set up and you would observe the
problem as stated in the quote below
darth boozer said:
To preserve the tracks, you need the supersaturated region to be as undisturbed as possible. Convection eddies would distort any tracks produced if the heated surface was at the bottom.
exactly

HotFurnace
Thanks for all replies! I will do a experiment to confirm this!

berkeman and davenn

## 1. What is a cloud chamber?

A cloud chamber is a scientific device used to study the behavior of particles in a gas or vapor. It consists of a sealed container filled with gas or vapor, and a cooled surface. When particles pass through the chamber, they leave a trail of condensation on the cooled surface, allowing scientists to observe and study their properties.

## 2. How does cooling and heating affect the particles in a cloud chamber?

Cooling and heating in a cloud chamber can affect the behavior of particles in different ways. When the chamber is cooled, the particles move more slowly and condense more easily, making their paths easier to observe. On the other hand, heating the chamber can cause the particles to move faster and spread out, making it more difficult to track their paths.

## 3. What are the benefits of using a cloud chamber to study particles?

Cloud chambers allow scientists to observe and study the behavior of particles in a controlled environment. This can provide valuable insights into the properties and interactions of particles, which can have applications in various fields such as physics, chemistry, and meteorology. Additionally, cloud chambers are relatively inexpensive and easy to set up, making them accessible to a wide range of researchers.

## 4. Can cooling and heating in a cloud chamber simulate real-world conditions?

While cooling and heating in a cloud chamber can mimic some aspects of real-world conditions, it is important to note that the chamber is a controlled environment and may not accurately reflect all aspects of the natural world. However, by adjusting the temperature and pressure in the chamber, scientists can simulate a variety of conditions and observe how particles behave under different circumstances.

## 5. What other techniques can be used to study particles besides a cloud chamber?

There are various other techniques that can be used to study particles, such as particle accelerators, electron microscopes, and spectroscopy. Each method has its own advantages and limitations, and scientists may choose to use a combination of techniques to gain a more comprehensive understanding of particles and their behavior.

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