S'Cool LAB Cloud Chamber workshops are extremely popular for high school students visiting CERN, allowing them to get hands-on, build a particle detector, observe particle tracks, and learn about particle physics.
After a brief introductory talk on the history of cloud chambers, students are instructed in how to build a cloud chamber by a S'Cool LAB Tutor - a specially-trained volunteer from CERN's scientific community. Working in small groups of 2-4 participants each, students then proceed to build their own cloud chambers. The main part of the workshop time is then dedicated to watching the tracks of particles made visible by the chamber, as the tutor goes from group to group to discuss the students' observations. Next comes the clean-up phase (students are taught to be responsible users of a lab environment), before a group discussion facilitated by the tutor. The sessions in S'Cool LAB last 75-90 minutes in total.
If you are a teacher with a booking for a CERN guided tour confirmed by CERN's visits service and you are interested in having a cloud chamber workshop in S'Cool LAB added to your visit itinerary for your students, please read the important practical information about S'Cool LAB Cloud Chamber Workshops, which includes instructions for applying.
If you do not yet have a confirmed CERN visit, you can apply for one via the dedicated form on CERN visits service application for school groups.
Preparing your visit
Please help your students to make the most of their CERN guided tour and S'Cool LAB Cloud Chamber Workshop by preparing them.
- Information about CERN & particle physics in general: A collection of resources about CERN and each of the S'Cool LAB Experiments is available on the Prepare your visit.
- Information about cloud chambers: A detailed description of this experiment is available here. Information about the important key concepts of this workshops as well as preparation material are available here.
Cloud Chambers in your classroom
If you are interested in building cloud chambers in your classroom, have a look at our DIY manual. We also recommend using the live webcast of the permanent cloud chamber in CERN's Microcosm exhibition.