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Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Cloud Chamber. Sort by date Show all posts

Thursday, February 1, 2024

Wilson Cloud Chambers - I Want to Build One

Wow, I've been wanting to build a Wilson Cloud Chamber for a long time, ever since I read about one back in the 1970s in C.L. Stong's famous book "The Amateur Scientist."  Now this fellow Jim Messier comes along with this amazing video that features a cloud chamber that he built for a few bucks at age 13.  I am feeling the pressure.  No pun intended. 

Back in the day, a reasonable excuse for not building this device was that it was hard to find the dry ice you needed for the cooling. No more!  Now, at least in this area,  you can get dry ice at your local supermarket (bring thick gloves or else you can burn your hands on this stuff).  The heat is on.  Well, actually the cold is on.  

I wrote about cloud chambers before on this blog: 

You can get the entire C.L. Stong book for free courtesy of KE5FX here: 

All of this was sparked by a visit to Jim Messier's amazing YouTube channel, "Our Own Devices."  There is a lot of great material there. Check it out and subscribe:  https://www.youtube.com/@CanadianMacGyver 

Thanks Jim! 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Renaissance Man Illustrator for Scientific American

C.L. Stong wrote the "Amateur Scientist" column for Scientific American for many years.  When I was a boy, my mom saved up to buy me the anthology of Strong's columns.  It had a big impression on me -- I still have a copy on my shelf.  I never gave much thought to the illustrations, but I now realize that they were responsible for much of the impact that that book had on me.  The cloud chamber drawing was one of my favorites.  Note the use of peanut-butter jars.  Yea!  
This morning an article on the Maker blog focused on the genius who did all those wonderful drawings:  Roger Hayward (I wonder if there is any relation to Wes and Roger -- all three are from Oregon and all three are technical geniuses.)
I found this very nice web site about Roger Hayward: http://scarc.library.oregonstate.edu/omeka/exhibits/show/hayward/introduction/introduction/
There are great illustrations in many places.  For the Scientific American drawings go to the 1960s section.

And check out this one:

From: http://scarc.library.oregonstate.edu/omeka/items/show/4456

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Saturday, September 4, 2021

Cosmic Rays, Bit Flips, and Computer Vulnerability

Here is a very interesting video about a problem that many of us have been blissfully unaware. 

You can see the role played by the solar cycle.  This is the subject of some on-going research by the folks who put out the SpaceWeather.com web site.  They have been flying balloons to measure high altitude cosmic rays: 

I've been meaning to build a cloud chamber for a long time.  I recently discovered that my local 
supermarket sells dry ice... 

Thanks to Dave, K8WPE for alerting us to this video.  

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