Emilio Segrè Visual Archives

More than 30,000 photos of scientists and their work

Havens William F2

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Havens William F2

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$20.00
Image title: 
William Havens and Cloud Chamber
Credit line: 
AIP Emilio Segrè Visual Archives
Description: 

W. W. Havens, Associate Professor of Physics at Columbia University, scans the screen of the cloud chamber, watching the tracks of the nuclear particles. The chamber, set up in the basement of the Pupin Laboratories building at Columbia University, is an apparatus for making visible the paths of sub-microscopic nuclear particles. A cloud is created in the confined volume by the sudden expansion of the air in the chamber, causing a super-saturation of that air with water vapor. When the nuclear particles traverse this cloud, droplets are formed along the paths of the particles due to the ionization of the air molecules. This path is readily photographed with a strong light source and an ordinary camera. The unit into which Professor Havens is peering, is the viewer and the chamber itself. The large section below is the mechanism required to suddenly expand the air in the chamber. All together, the apparatus weighs approximately 300 pounds.

Original format: 
2 photographic prints (black and white; 5 x 7 inches)
Person(s): 
Havens, William W. (William Westerfield), 1920-2004