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cloud chamber

noun Physics.
  1. an apparatus for determining the movements of charged particles, consisting of a chamber containing a supersaturated mixture of gas and vapor, the vapor condensing around ions created by the particle in its passing, thereby revealing the path of the particle.
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Origin of cloud chamber

First recorded in 1895–1900
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for cloud chamber

cloud chamber

noun
  1. physics an apparatus for detecting high-energy particles by observing their tracks through a chamber containing a supersaturated vapour. Each particle ionizes molecules along its path and small droplets condense on them to produce a visible trackAlso called: Wilson cloud chamber
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

cloud chamber in Science

cloud chamber

  1. A device used to observe the movements of charged atomic and subatomic particles, such as ions, electrons, or muons. Cloud chambers consist of a closed container filled with a gas that is on the verge of condensing. Charged particles passing through the gas ionize the atoms in their path, forming visible lines of condensation. Compare bubble chamber.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.