Skip to Content

Search: {{$root.lsaSearchQuery.q}}, Page {{$}}

DEPARTMENT COLLOQUIUM | The Bubble Chamber: The Device that Revolutionized High-Energy Physics

Wednesday, December 9, 2015
12:00 AM
340 West Hall

Donald Glaser passed away in early 2013.  As a young physic's faculty member at the University of Michigan in the 1950s, he and his students developed one the most important pieces of scientific apparatus in history, for which he won the 1960 Nobel prize: the bubble chamber. His invention revitalized high-energy physics (HEP) particularly in the U.S., and led to many important discoveries. I will trace the development of the bubble chamber first at UM and then elsewhere, together with the later development of related electronic nuclear tracking detectors. The latter have mostly replaced bubble chambers in HEP yet owe their legacy to the bubble chamber. Today bubble chambers are finding new applications in dark matter searches, nuclear safeguards, etc. Yet, as I will explain, Glaser considered the bubble chamber to be a personal failure and left high-energy physics shortly after moving to U.C. Berkeley in 1959.

     Discovery of Omega Minus Baryon (SSS Quarks) at BNL Bubble Chamber, 1964