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Donald Glaser and the Bubble Chamber
In memory of Donald Glaser, who "died in his sleep Thursday morning, Feb. 28, at his home in Berkeley. … Glaser, a professor emeritus of physics and of molecular and cell biology at the University of California, Berkeley, won the 1960 Nobel Prize in Physics for inventing the bubble chamber, a device that allowed scientists to track the paths of electrons, protons and other elementary particles after collisions, which led the discovery of whole families of new particles."
The 1960 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Donald Glaser for his invention of the bubble chamber. "Glaser first conceived of the bubble chamber in 1952, at the age of 25, while a faculty member at the University of Michigan. According to scientific lore, Glaser was enjoying a cold beer when he observed the stream of bubbles in his brew. It was a moment of saloon science that inspired a tool second only in importance to the cyclotron for atomic physicists.
The first bubble chamber, no bigger than its inventor's thumb, contained a clear, super-heated liquid in the path of charged atomic particles accelerated by an atom smasher. As the particles pushed through the liquid, they created a trail of tiny bubbles that could be photographed through the window of the chamber. Analyzing the bubbles provides physicists with insight about the particles and related forces. ...
After consulting during the summers at the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory, Glaser joined the University of California faculty in 1959. Five years later, he became a professor of physics and molecular biology at the university. Now a Professor of the Graduate School, Glaser's research has shifted to the construction of computational models that shed light on the physics and physiology of human perception."
- Edited excerpt from: 1960: Donald Glaser and His Bubble Chamber, ScienceMatters@Berkeley, Vol. 1, Issue 6
Additional information about Donald Glaser and his research is available in full text and on the Web.
Some Effects of Ionizing Radiation on the Formation of Bubbles in Liquids Physical Review, Vol. 87, Issue 4, 665, August 15, 1952
Characteristics of Bubble Chambers Physical Review, Vol. 97, Issue 2, 474-479, January 15, 1955
Bubble Counting for the Determination of the Velocities of Charged Particles in Bubble Chambers Physical Review, Vol. 102, Issue 6, 1653-1658, June 15, 1956
Methods of Particle Detection for High-energy Physics Experiments DOE Technical Report, October 1958
On the Analysis of Bubble Chamber Tracks DOE Technical Report, October 1958
Additional Web Pages:
What is particle physics?: the Bubble Chamber - High School Teachers at CERNProfessor of Biophysics and Neurobiology at the University of California, Berkeley
Invention and History of the Bubble Chamber (video), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL)
Interview with Donald Glaser, nobelprize.org, June 2000 (video)
Interview with Donald A. Glaser, nobelprize.org, August 2008 (video)
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