Visualising natural radioactivity and cosmic particles
The video stream below shows live images of particles as they zip through a cloud chamber which is set up in the public Microcosm exhibition
at CERN. Different shapes of clouds are formed depending on the particle type, energy and direction. The clouds are the result of particles interacting with the vapour inside the chamber. Most particle tracks are caused by natural radioactivity (present in the soil and air) and particle showers originating from the Earth's atmosphere. These showers are created by cosmic particles hitting the Earth's atmosphere, which transforms them into myriads of lower-energy particles like pions, muons and electrons.
Visitors in the exhbition can inject additional radioactive sources such as alpha emitters (Radon-220) and electron emitters (Strontium-90) by pressing buttons on the machine.
This live stream is available during the opening hours of the Microcosm exhibition at CERN. In general, the stream should be running from Monday to Saturday, 8:30 - 20:00 (Swiss time). The exhibition itself closes earlier and stays closed during certain break periods, please find more information on the Microcosm homepage.