Cloud Chamber and the invisibles

How would you see the particles? I have been fascinated by Cloud Chamber for several years but never had the chance to see one nor make one. And that dream came true at CERN… (ok there were many more dreams that came true, including coming to CERN).


S’Cool Lab is the educational section of CERN that holds hands-on workshops for high school students, and they have all the materials needed for Cloud Chamber.

S’Cool Lab是CERN的教育中心,特別提供給高中學生的簡易物理實驗,讓他們理解高能物理的研究關鍵。而雲室就是其中一個實驗。


  1. Put in dry-ice in the bottom container
  2. Make the felt soaked in 99% isopropyl alcohol
  3. Add a metal plate on top, with 99% isopropyl alcohol in the notch
  4. Put on the aquarium that has the felt on top
  5. Wait and see the cloud forming


  1. 在保麗龍底座中放入乾冰
  2. 在水族箱上方的毛氈中倒入99% 異丙醇直到吸滿
  3. 在乾冰上放上金屬板(能讓溫度快速傳導的物質)並且在溝槽中倒滿異丙醇
  4. 將水族箱放到金屬板上
  5. 等待降溫,異丙醇蒸氣會在金屬板上方產生薄薄的霧氣

IMG_1349 IMG_1350 IMG_1351 IMG_1352


When the particles in the cosmic rays pass through the fog, will leave a beautiful trace of white cloud. We also had some nice photos and videos made:



Note: The video is a commercial cloud chamber, not a DIY one.

註: 影片中拍的是商業雲室,不是我們自己做的,自己做的照片好難拍啊….

It was amazing seeing the particles goes through the fog and forming a denser line within the fog, and thinking how all these particles are passing through us at the moment when we were watching.


I can just watch it for hours and hours and hours….


Philosophers, physicists and detecting the unknown.

This week we finally started the residency at CERN. We had a very interesting opening introduction by Julian Calo, the coordinator of Arts@CERN. And then we had a wonderful chat with scientist Michael Doser, as well as seeing Samuel C. C. Ting having a meeting next table. 😉 A visit to the amazing magnet factor in CERN, and wrap up the day by exploring the library.

這週總算開始CERN的駐村計畫。一開始先由Arts@CERN計畫協調人Julian Carlo擔任保母,介紹CERN的特色,然後與研究反物質的科學家Michael Doser吃午餐。在吃午餐的時候還遇到了在隔壁桌開會的課本級人物丁肇中,最後在圖書館亂槍打鳥式的尋找視覺元素。

0T6A6199 Circular data from the library in the Yearly Review of Particle Physics

Wenchi and Pei in ATLAS

Continue reading

/Prephase/ Copenhagen, Niels Bohr, Father of Quantum Theory

Jan 6th, 2016

It was in November on a train from Helsingor to Copenhagen that a friend told me I should definitely visit Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen upon knowing that I will stay in CERN for 1 month. Though I have studied his theories of complementarity in high school, it never occurred to me that he is a Danish and works in Copenhagen.  So it became a great preliminary thing to do as Copenhagen is my stop before Geneva.


Neils Bohr Institute

The librarian Ms Pors showed me around of how the building is, and how the interactions of the scientists (which were the names occupied my whole physics textbook when I was 16) were like. There was Einstein, Kramer, Heisenberg, Pauli, etc.



The best part of it was seeing Bohr chose the Yin-Yang sign as his code of arms — as the interpretation of wave-particle duality. It was also a pleasant surprise that he not only does physics, a huge part of Bohr’s writing were philosophy, and sometimes about Biology. The almighty librarian Ms. Pors said however, Bohr never directly mention the influence of eastern philosophy on his research. 😉


Continue reading

A detour towards Gold

Michael Doser describes the pattern of how he thinks, he knows where the gold is, and he takes the straight line to get it. No detour, no looking right and left. Artist, somehow, knows where the gold is as well, but looking up and down, right and left, here and there,  taking very long detour to answer the question which in the end is still open to be answered. When his arm are waving in the air, that long detour looks like a movement phrase.