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December 09, 1958 - Image 3

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1958-12-09

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s, 1958



Glaser Invents First Bubble Chamber

(Continued from Page1)
nuclear events and feed it into
one of the University's electronic
computers. The machine then cal-
culates the velocities, masses and
energies of particles involved.
An instrument like the bubble
chamber, Prof. Glaser said, has
been the dream of physicists all
over the world since the early days;
of the study of high energy atomic
Needed Support

The bubble chamber was In-
vented to provide a method by
which rare high-velocity collisions
could actually be seen and in large
numbers so that the laws govern-
ing them could be discovered. Al-
though everyone realized the use-
fulness of such a device, none of
the governmental agencies that
sponsor nuclear research was will-
ing to support this apparently far-
fetched approach in which tiny
bubbles were supposed to mark the
trails of atomic particles.
Receives Grant
In spite of an atmosphere of
disbelief, Prof. Glaser decided to
start on the project. He had a $750
grant from the Rackham fund for
cosmic ray research which he
planned to use for this project and
later obtained a grant of $1,500
from the Phoenix Project.
Using liquid propane, he built an
improved chamber and tested it
at the three-billion-volt cosmotron
at the Brookhaven National Lab-
oratory, where in the first ten
minutes of operation he photo-
graphed nuclear events seldom
seen in their entirety by the older
Eight of hfs first 22 photographs,
for example, pictured the creation
in nuclear collisions of particles
called -pi mesons, their slowdown
and decay into mu mesons and the
transition of mu mesons into elec-
trons, one of the basic building
blocks of atoms.
The cloud chamber and photo-
graphic emulsions have been used
for this kind of study for decades,
but each has its own limitations.
The first is a box filled with a
moisture-laden vapor in which
slim "fog trails" mark the paths


Diggigs Pro
Based on Old
Archaeological excavations have
proven that the Book of Genesis
is based on authentic old tradi-
tions. Prof. Ephraim A. Speiser of
the oriental studies department
of the University of Pennsylvania
said yesterday at the second an-
nual Zwerdling lecture.
Speaking on "The Biblical Pre-
History-Genesis I-XI: and the
Primeval History and Babylonian
Culture," he said "through exca-
vations, proof has been collected
which show the first part of Gene-
sis to be both authentic and in-
The authenticity comes from
cuneiform writings found in the
the Mesopotamian area. "Many
of the stories of the creation paral-
lel the Epic of Gilgenish, and this
in turn has been found to record
events which happened in Meso-
potamia," Prof. Speiser said.
Natural Events Changed
Howtver, although natural events
are behind Genesis, the author in
rearranging the order of events
and creating new ideas gave the
book its spiritual significance.
"The first eleven chapters are
not history in the true sense of the

ye Genesis
I Traditions
word, but an introduction to a
story of people searching out the
universal principles of life," he
noted. g
As an example is the story of DESI N
the flood. Writings have confirmed
the existence of several flood'T ON E
stories in the Mesopotamian dis-T
The author of Genesis took both YOUR
stories and adapted them to his
purposes. He told about the giants
Sjand the horror of the episode.
The he brought in the story of A M S
the flood to depict the moral in- '
dignation of God and the necessity
of punishing all the evil in the
world. \ \
Therefore, the significance is in
'warm, wonderful and, of
the departure of the actual report.
Another thing archaeology has r course, infinitely flattering
cleared up is the matter of geog- .our glamour hoods
raphy. Several claims , had been
made of the unauthenticity of the - - and scarfs - angoras --
Bible because it was inconceivable wools - plaids - orlons
that the area could have been so - wool jersey - in
spread out from Babylon to Egypt,
particularly in the case of the multitude of colors and
Garden of Eden. fabrics . . . perfect foi
Mentions Four Rivers that extra gift!
Genesis mentions four rivers in
Eden which was thought to be in Priced from
Africa. Two were in Babylon and
two in Africa. This seemed prepos-
terous until diggings revealed a$200
small area called Eden in Meso-
potamia with four rivers running
through it."
The question of why the first Pr eft ty finger t o as t ers,
part of the book was written at
all was shown by Prof. Speiser toa3ts
follow an old world custom. In all o es ill gay colors ---
works of this period, it was cus- while - grey - brown
tomary to introduce a prologue black - sone i ih
giving the history of the world. ahe s
There is a great possibility that leather-alms.
the first eleven chapters were rom $2.0
written after the Bible was fin-
ished, since the rest of the work is
a contemporary record of life.
Puts Plan into Focus
"This preface puts the larger ON FOREST CAMPUS
plan of the Bible into focus and it ofTO
no doubt furnishes the final thrust off South U. TOGS
which puts the work into an opposite' + )Il South U
eternal orbit," Prof. Speiser said.C sM
Although the Bible is shown to Cmpusk
be a work not dreamed up but Theatre from Main Shop
adapted from other writings, a
main point in this preface which
differs exclusively from Babylon-
ian culture is the concept of a
single omnipotent deity.
'3sc ~ a ar .s~eccrz~ccr~ : e~a~~crx: s :mc ,~ea~rx~~c~~ xr

BUBBLE, BUBBLE-Prof. Glaser of the physics department works on his now-famous bubble
chamber. This is a device for observing the paths of high speed atomic particles. With It, physicists
are able to observe In routine fashion collisions and reactions produced in man made nuclear
accelerators. Among the United States exhibit at the World's Fair and the 1958 Atoms for Peace
conference In Geneva were illustrations explaining the development and use of the bubble chambers.

pane-filled 'bubble chamber the 'it should be easy-you can see

equivalent of a 260-foot cloud'
chamber, Prof. Glaser observes.
Principle Is Simple
The principle behind the bubble
chamber is simple, Prof. Glaser
explained. A diaphragm actuated
by compressed air increases. and
releases the pressure periodically,
which a heating element raises the
temperature of the fluid above its
boiling point.
When the pressure drops, the
liquid needs only a point at which
to start boiling, normal occurrence
of this being at the chamber walls.
However, high speed atomic par-
ticles impart tiny electric charges
to atoms in the liquid as they
brush past. Microscopic bubbles-
the start of boiling-quickly gather
around these charged atoms, form-
ng distinct bubble trails for a few
thousandths of a second. These
tracks can be recorded by means
of ultra-high-speed photography.
Story Called Unromantic
Reminiscing on how he got the
Idea, Prof. Glaser said, "Unfortu-
nately it is not a very romantic
story. I had been trying for some
time to think of a way to make a
dense solid of liquid sensitive to
the tiny disturbance created by a
high-velocity atomic particle. I
decided to try a liquid heated far
above its boiling point mainly be-
cause I was able to make a theory
which determined the necessary
experimental conditions.
"This being a rather wild idea, I
was the target of a lot of good-
natured teasing. One of these jibes
got into newspapers recently be-
cause it was quoted in Congres-
sional testimony in hearings on the
support of scientific research.
"One evening several years ago,
after attending a physics colloquim
a number of us were sitting around
a pitcher of beer at one of the
local gathering places on Liberty
Street discussing the great diffi-I
culty of doing experiments in mod-
ern high-energy physics. We
agreed that the main trouble is
that we are trying to investigate
things we can not see or even
imagine in terms of our usual ex-
perience of the world. One of the
physicists, looking dreamily at the
streamers rising from the bottom
of the beer pitcher, wise-cracked,
Dublin to Iron Curtain; Africa to
Sweden. You're accompanied-not
herded. College age only, Also short
255 Sequoia (Box 4)-Pasadena, Cal.

tracks practically anywhere.'
"This was a sarcastic reference
to the fact that I had actually
smuggled six bottles of beer into
the physics laboratory a few days
before, just to make tests to be
sure that we had not been missing
the obvious. We hadn't. Shortly
Prof. Levin
Too Lecture
Prof. Harry Levin of Harvard
University will lecture on "Liter-
ature and Exile" at 4:10 p.m. to-
i morrow in Aud. A, Angell Hall.
A well-known .critic of contem-
porary literature, Prof. Levin has
written many books on such
varied subjects as James Joyce,
Christopher Marlowe and roman-
tic hellenism.
His latest works are "Contexts
of Criticism" and "The Power of

after this I began more serious
experiments, following the indica-
tions of my theory."
The first successful chamber used
liquid ether, the ordinary anes-
thetic, as its sensitive fluid.
In may 1956, Prof. Glaser and
his collegaues scored a "major
breakthrough" in man's campaign
to learn more about the basic
composition matter, with the an-
nouncement of a new chamber
called the xenon chamber.
Filled with Xenon Gas
The new device is called an
xenon chamber because it is filled
with liquified xenon gas, a sub-
stance very difficult to produce.
The only source of xenon is the
atmosphere where it is present in
one part for every 10 million parts
of air.
He tested first a small chamber
filled with liquified xenon and
then planned one 12 inches in di-
ameter. To equal it, a propane
filled bubble chamber would have;
to be five feet long and a cloud
chamber - famous forerunner of
the bubble chamber -- 1500 feet
The free world's entire known
supply of xenon was used to fill
this chamber.

Ballet Club, baliet and jazz lesso
given, Dec. 9, 7:15-5:30 p.m., Barbou
*, * 4,
Congregational and Disciples Guil
coffee break, Dec. 9, 4:30-6 p.m., Gui
Co-Rec. Badminton Club, organiz
tional meeting, Dec. 9, 7 p.m., Barbou
Deutscher verein. Weihnachtsfes
Dec. 10, 8 p.m., League, Mich. Rr
Speaker: Dr. W. F. Puchwein (Uni
of Graz), "Austrian Christmas Cu
toins." Christmas film and refresh
* * *
Graduate Student Coffee Hour, De
10, 4-5:30 pin., Rackham Bldg., 2n(
Floor, W. Lounge. All graduate stu
dents invited,
* * *
Italian Club, coffee hour, Dec. 9, 3
p.m., 3050 FB. All students intereste
in things Italian are invited.
La Sociedad Hispanica, Terutlia, De
10, 3-5 p.m., 3050 FB. Coffee and con
La Sociedad Hispanica, meeting, De
10, 8 p.m., 3050 FB. Concurso de Poesi
Mich. Crib - Society for Pre-Lai
Students, open meeting -- all interest.
ed are invited, Dec. 9, 7 p.m., Union
Rmn. 3B.
SGC Public Relations Comm., Com-
mittee meeting, Dec. 9, 4 p.m., 154
SAB. Interested students welcome.
* * *,
Tau Beta Pi, election of officer
meeting, Dec. 9, 7:30 p.m., Union.
* *
Women's Rifle Club, practice, Dec. 9
7 and 8 p.m., WAB. All members pleas
Young Democratic Club, executiv
board meeting, Dec. 9, 7:15 p.m., SAB



... very early version
of particles, while emulsions are
strips of film that record the paths
as a maze of fine crisscross lines,
Chambers are Bulky
The film can not effectively be
used with magnetic fields to swerve'
the particles and make them reveal
their masses and velocities. Cloud
chambers utilize magnetic fields
and electronic devices that "an-
nounce" the arrival of particles
and trigger a camera to take their
pictures, but the chambers are
bulky and atoms of the gas loosely
packed so that interesting events
are caught rarely.
Because the liquid in the bubble'
chamber is a thousand times more
dense than the vapor in a cloud
chamber, there is far greater like-
lihood of "direct hits" and other
interactions in the new device.
This makes a twelve-inch pro-


We have that
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'Special' Gift
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