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).

要怎麼看到粒子?想要做雲室(雲霧室)已經好幾年了,但一直沒機會做,這次總算在CERN有機會動手做了!

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。

Steps:

  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

步驟:

  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:

當宇宙射線中的粒子通過雲霧的時候,會出現白色的雲霧線條。我有拍到漂亮的影片(自己很得意):

 

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.

看著粒子通過雲霧產生白線,並想著這就是宇宙射線通過身體的樣貌,實在是種神奇的體驗。

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

感覺可以一直看一直看一直看…

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

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/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.

去年十一月在由丹麥赫辛格往哥本哈根的火車上,一位朋友在聽到我要到CERN駐村後,提到我應該到哥本哈根的波耳實驗室拜訪。雖然高中的時候有讀過他的互補原理(見互補原理),卻從來不記得他是丹麥人。因為剛好要到丹麥開會,就順便在駐村之前拜訪了波耳實驗室。

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.

波耳實驗室現在有部分被保存為博物館,其他部部分仍然保持前端科學研究,屬於哥本哈根大學的一部份。接待我的圖書館員Pors小姐帶我從過去的歷史講著那些有名的(課本上一定會看到的)物理科學家像是波耳、愛因斯坦、海森堡等人是如何在二次世界大戰前後在這個建築物內討論物理。

Coat_of_Arms_of_Niels_Bohr.svg

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. 😉

最有趣的部分莫過於Pors小姐說當波耳被丹麥皇家頒給榮譽的時候,他選擇了太極的符號作為他的家徽,因為那是詮釋他在物理上的發現最好的符號。而他不僅僅是個物理學家,也曾寫過許多哲學著作,有些時候甚至從物理的角度去思考生物的本質。不過Pors小姐表示波耳本人並沒有提到東方哲學對於他是否有什麼思想上的影響。

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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.