Science: Everyman's Atomics

For amateur atom fans, a group of scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory offered last week a "continuous cloud chamber." Based on a ten-year-old but neglected idea, it is simple enough, say the Brookhaven men, to be built and operated by the teacher of a high-school science class.

The standard Wilson cloud chamber for making atomic particles visible is a rather complicated apparatus. It contains moist air and a movable diaphragm or piston to rarefy it suddenly. This action cools the air by expansion and makes it "supersaturated" with water vapor which will condense into water droplets if given proper nuclei to condense...

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