FIFTH PLACE - Miaotianzi Jin: Mushroom Cloud in a Bubble Chamber

This chamber resides in a water tank buried 400 feet underground at Fermilab. It is surrounded by high-speed cameras, pressure and acoustic sensors, and temperature controls.

The liquid chemical is superheated: any tiny disturbance will cause it to bubble. In this image a single neutron collided with the target fluid creating a bubble which then rose the surface, causing this small, atom-bomb-like eruption. The high-speed cameras were triggered immediately resulting in this photo, and the pressure was increased to quench the bubble explosion.

This particular test helped scientists calibrate and test the sensitivity of the chamber. This 8-inch jar is one of several, some are as small as test tubes, others span a meter in diameter. Based on their observations, the research team plan to build a larger chamber which is even more sensitive and stable. This will hopefully help scientists directly detect dark matter.

PICO Dark Matter Research Collaboration

Tools & Techniques: High-speed Camera

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