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2015 Scientific Images Contest Winners

Mushroom Cloud in a Bubble Chamber Open Access (recommended)

2015 Fifth Place | This chamber resides in a water tank buried 400 feet underground at Fermilab. It is surrounded by high-speed cameras, pressure and acoustic sensors, and temperature controls.The liquid chemical is superheated: any tiny disturbance will cause it to bubble. In this image a single neutron collided with the target fluid creating a bubble which then rose the surface, causing this small, atom-bomb-like eruption. The high-speed cameras were triggered immediately resulting in this photo, and the pressure was increased to quench the bubble explosion.This particular test helped scientists calibrate and test the sensitivity of the chamber. This 8-inch jar is one of several, some are as small as test tubes, others span a meter in diameter. Based on their observations, the research team plan to build a larger chamber which is even more sensitive and stable. This will hopefully help scientists directly detect dark matter.PICO Dark Matter Research CollaborationTools & Techniques: High-speed Camera


Resource type(s)
Pictorial Works
Dark matter
Bubble chamber
All rights reserved
Jin, Miaotianzi
This image originally appeared as part of Northwestern's Scientific Images Contest. The contest and subsequent exhibitions are organized by Science in Society, the university's research center for science education and public engagement. Further information and opportunities to participate are available on their website. Prints and canvas editions of these Northwestern research images can also be purchased online (with the small net profit going to science education and outreach programming in the Chicago area).
Related URL
Science in Society
DigitalHub. Galter Health Sciences Library
Date Created
Subject: MESH
Subject: LCSH
Bubble chambers
Dark matter (Astronomy)
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File size: 179.3 kB