High School Research at Jefferson Lab

Spark Chamber Design and Construction

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Spark Chamber: Triggering with SiPM
Spark chambers were primarily used in the 1960s for particle physics research, but have since been replaced by drift chambers and solid-state detectors. The purpose of this spark chamber is for people to visualize the paths of cosmic rays. When a cosmic ray passes through the scintillator it creates light which travels along wavelength shifting fiber to a silicon photomultiplier (SiPM). A circuit connected to the SiPM will trigger a trail of sparks between the aluminum plates. Alternating plates will be charged with 10,000 V while the rest are connected to ground. The spark chamber is covered by a glass dome and secured to the base plate. There is space for the electrical wires and gaseous Helium (GHe) flow through the base as well. Three PVC pipes with parallel slots can support up to twenty-one plates and the two scintillators. Once completed, the spark chamber will be on display in CEBAF Center providing viewers with the opportunity to observe cosmic rays.
Spark Chamber: Triggering with SiPM