Film from the CERN Atom Smasher!

I have one reel of film that was created at CERN, using their 2 m bubble chamber. I suppose there must be thousands of these reels of film around, probably stashed in a warehouse somewhere. Of course particle detectors are much different today, and the old bubble chambers are now museum relics, but they are still fascinating.

The reel is marked: October '74, 4.2 GeV. Each image is about 5 cm x 12 cm.

As long as I have any film to give away, physics teachers are welcome to it. There is something nice about being able to hold the actual film in your hand, hold it up to the light and see those tiny tracks. Think of the thousands of person-hours that it took to screen all those images by eye, and select out the interesting ones for analysis.

To send a 3 m piece of the film, as well as a single frame for each student in your class, (please collect them again, and use them for future classes) I will mail the film and Cliff Swartz's AAPT two page editorial in a cardboard tube. To pay postage, please send me two bucks. (Cheque, cash or stamps, US or Canadian, or Canadian Tire Money :-) I hope to hear from you.

John Childs
1133 Irace Dr., Brockville, ON
K6V 5T1

There is a wonderfully simple appartus that allows you to look at these kinds of tracks in "real life". Look up "cloud chamber" in any of the science catalogues. (Cenco, Boreal) It consists of a cheap plastic container, and a not-so-cheap radioactive source. The only hassle is you need to cool the container with dry ice or liquid nitrogen. If you have access to these, this is a very worth-while demonstration. It takes a little "messing around" to get things just right, but the tracks are amazing to see, spontaneously and continuously caused by the particles being emitted from the radioactive source.

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