Big European Bubble Chamber

Big European Bubble Chamber

The Big European Bubble Chamber on display at the Microcosm museum

The Big European Bubble Chamber (BEBC) is a piece of equipment formerly used to study particle physics at CERN. BEBC was installed at CERN in the early 1970s. It is a stainless-steel vessel which was filled with 35 cubic metres of liquid hydrogen, D2 (molecular deuterium) or a hydrogen/neon mixture,[1] whose sensitivity was regulated by means of a piston weighing 2 tonnes. During each expansion, charged particles left trails of bubbles as they passed through it.[2] It has since been decommissioned and is now on display at CERN's Microcosm museum.

The BEBC project was launched in 1966 by France and Germany. It was surrounded by a 3.5 tesla superconducting solenoid magnet. In 1973, it began operation at the Proton Synchrotron (PS). From 1977 to 1984, it was operated in the West Area neutrino beam line of the Super Proton Synchrotron (SPS), where it was exposed to neutrino and hadron beams at higher energies of up to 450 GeV. By the end of its active life in 1984, BEBC had delivered a total of 6.3 million photographs to 22 experiments devoted to neutrino or hadron physics. Around 600 scientists from some fifty laboratories throughout the world had taken part in analysing the 3000 km of film it had produced.[3][4]

See also


  1. ^ """Introduction to the Workshop "30 Years of Bubble Chamber Physics. 18 March 2003. 
  2. ^ "Big European Bubble Chamber, BEBC". CERN Archive. Retrieved 2007-12-19. 
  3. ^ "In the tracks of the bubble chamber". CERN Courier. Jul 28, 2004. 
  4. ^ "Golden Jubilee photos - BEBC, the Big European Bubble Chamber". CERN Document Server. May 17, 2004.