Photo showing transmutation of elements

Photo showing transmutation of elements

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Credit: PATRICK BLACKETT/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: One of the cloud chamber photographs which in 1925 demonstrated the artificial transmutation of elem- ents. Alpha particles from a radioactive source travel up the picture. The alpha at left interacts with an atom of the nitrogen gas filling the cloud chamber. The alpha is captured by the nitrogen nucleus & transmutes it into a nucleus of a heavy isotope of oxygen (oxygen-17), together with a proton. The proton shoots off, leaving a faint track. The recoiling oxygen nucleus produces the thick track. The picture was one of 8 showing transmutation among the 23,000 cloud chamber photos taken by Patrick Blackett at the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge, in 1921-24.

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Keywords: alpha particle, cloud chamber image, cloud chamber imagery, nuclear transmutation, odyssey, particle physics, photo, proton

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