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How does a bubble chamber detect particles?

A bubble chamber detects particles by using a superheated liquid to create visible trails of particles.

A bubble chamber is a device used to detect and track the paths of subatomic particles. It consists of a superheated liquid, usually liquid hydrogen or helium, contained in a sealed chamber. When a charged particle passes through the liquid, it ionizes the atoms and molecules along its path, creating a trail of charged particles. This trail of charged particles lowers the pressure and temperature of the liquid, causing it to boil and form bubbles.

The bubbles created by the trail of charged particles can be photographed and analyzed to determine the properties of the particle that created them. The size and shape of the bubbles can provide information about the energy and momentum of the particle, while the curvature of the trail can reveal the particle's charge and mass.

Bubble chambers were widely used in particle physics experiments in the mid-20th century, but have since been largely replaced by more advanced detectors such as the particle accelerator. However, they remain an important tool for teaching and demonstrating the principles of particle physics.

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