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Cloud Chamber


Definition: A cloud chamber is a sealed container of water vapor that has been supercooled and supersaturated. When a charged particle enters the chamber, it ionizes the vapor, causing it to condense within the chamber leaving a visible trail. Observation of the properties of these trails can provide information about the type of particle that caused them.

The cloud chamber was invented by Charles Thomson Rees Wilson, based on observations that came out of his meteorological studies of clouds. The first cloud chamber was built in 1911, for which Wilson received the 1927 Nobel Prize in Physics.

Also Known As: Wilson chamber
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