FRANCES EVELEGH / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY FRANCES EVELEGH / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Cloud chamber. Abstract photograph illustrating the invention of the cloud chamber by Charles Wilson (1869-1959). Wilson began his work by attempting to make artificial clouds in the laboratory by the sudden expansion of moist air. He soon showed that if dust were filtered out, the 'cloud' would not form due to the lack of condensation nuclei. He also showed that charged ions would act as nuclei, and in 1911 showed his cloud chamber as a detector for charged particles. The cloud chamber was a favourite of particle physicists for forty years, until the advent of the bubble chamber. Wilson was awarded a Nobel Prize for Physics in 1927.
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