0
$\begingroup$

I noticed that if I build a cloud chamber (with 99% isopropyl alcohol), when the mist is falling smoothly, I can see particle tracks passing through the mist. However, if I move the jar at all, turbulence develops inside the jar. I can still see the particles of mist (now moving as vortices in the turbulence), but the ionisation tracks are no longer visible.

Why are the ionisation tracks not visible when there is turbulence inside my cloud chamber?

$\endgroup$
0
$\begingroup$

It takes time for the droplets to form so if there is movement of the air (turbulence) the droplets will move and no longer be on the original trajectory of the particle.

Also if it is a diffusion cloud chamber then the "sensitive" supersaturated air layer is very thin and any disturbance of the air will mean that that very thin sensitive region is no longer planar.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Why is it important that the trajectory of the droplets match the trajectory of the decay particle that forms the ionisation trail? $\endgroup$ – Bob Apr 5 '18 at 21:08
  • $\begingroup$ @Bob The droplets are the visible sign of the trajectory of the charged particle. If the positions of the droplets change then the droplets will no longer follow the path of the charged particle. $\endgroup$ – Farcher Apr 5 '18 at 21:14

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.