Projects

Aulas Tecnópole

We manufacture our fuscalli camera, a device that makes it possible to see particles of ionising radiation with the naked eye.

 

What is the project?

Invented in the early 20th century by the Scottish physicist Charles Wilson, the fog chamber is a device containing hypersaturated isopropanol vapour. Thanks to a temperature gradient between the bottom and the top, the vapour molecules are very sensitive to interactions with charged elementary particles, which leave a condensed trail behind them as they pass through the chamber medium. We recreated this system using a cylindrical borosilicate vessel, a computer fan, Peltier plates and a 3D printed sealing structure. Our objectives, in addition to the manufacture of the chamber, are the identification and study of the different phenomena observable in the chamber and the dissemination of our model at science fairs and educational centres.

 

What is the purpose of this project?
The project has several objectives that will allow us to verify the fulfilment of the hypothesis described above:

-Design and construction of the fuscallo chamber from its different components, previously selected and studied.

-Identification and study of the different observable phenomena in the chamber.

-Dissemination of our fog chamber model through scientific fairs, visits to educational centres, distributing our kit for centres and publishing our technical report.

 

How does it work?

 The chamber allows ionising radiation particles to be seen thanks to the formation of a hypersaturated isopropyl alcohol mist. When a charged particle (which can have an external origin or come from a sample inside the chamber) passes through the chamber, it ionises particles in the gaseous medium and is joined by nearby particles, so that these new ions act as condensation nuclei.
We use a borosilicate cylinder as a container for the formation of the fog, which has sponges impregnated with liquid isopropanol on its upper inner side, allowing the alcohol to diffuse through the chamber. To achieve the temperature gradient between the upper and lower part, we cool the latter by using two Peltiers cooling plates coupled one on top of the other, releasing the heat emitted on the lower side, which is attached to a computer heatsink to avoid overheating.

 

What about the Maker Community?

Our fuselike camera is a new approach to fog chambers, and with it we aim to bring this type of system, which is so useful for understanding and feeling particle physics, as directly as possible to education. 


Who carried out the project?

The students Iria Fernández González, Irene Díaz Carnero and Roque López Fernández, from Aulas Tecnópole Galicia. Iria Fernández is a 2nd year Baccalaureate student, and Irene Díaz and Roque López are 1st year Baccalaureate students.

 

 

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