I saw Professor Brian Cox do this a couple of years ago and thought it an impressive but fairly simple way to detect these mysterious particles as
they pass through anything that stands in their way , the Cloud Chamber makes the Invisible ,Visible.
Here are a couple of videos of self assembled Cloud Chambers and the impressive results achieved.
I will get around to building one of these myself ,far more entertaining than TV , instructions are available online for anyone interested in building
their own Cloud Chamber.
Cloud chambers are neat. I remember the other way to detect cosmic rays, turn an old TV to a blank channel (snowy screen) and turn down the contrast
until you just see the barest random dots appearing on an otherwise dark screen, those are cosmic ray strikes from deep space.
Not that anyone even has an old tube television anymore. Could be difficult to reinvent…
Our friends loaned my parents theirs until a few months ago. It was really cool and retro - looked like something out of Space 1999.
You could make a detector using a smartphone CCD sensor. There are actually apps that accurately measure radiation in this way. if you mask off the
lens of the camera from direct light with a thick sheet of card, the only way the CCD sensor will pick up bright pixels is from radiation.
Here's a snapshot of Professor Brian Cox explaining the cloud box, possibly what Gorty saw. It doesn't come across so well visually, (vagaries of the
internet) but it does tell you how to go about making one.
This content community relies on user-generated content from our member contributors. The opinions of our members are not those of site ownership who maintains strict editorial agnosticism and simply provides a collaborative venue for free expression.