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Randy Treadway

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Welcome, Dave!

You said "The chamber was not operational when we went back in 1965."

The photos I posted are from late June or early July 65, so it was working then. I didn't know about the sputtering problem - that explains the darkness of the glass.

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Randy,

I have a chair that I thought came from the Bell exhibit. Memory gets fuzzy after 42 years. It's a white fiberglass egg with dark cobalt blue nylon upholstery inside, and internal speakers on each side. It stands on a pedestal, and is about 5 feet high and nearly 4 feet in diameter. It doesn't look anything like the chair in your photo, though. Perhaps it came form a different ride. It's surpisingly comfortable. I thought is would make a neat environment for computer gaming (assuming I ever find the time to play computer games!)

I'll have to get it out of storage and snap some photos of it.

Dave

You have one of the Bell chairs? WOW!!!!

Wayne,

I've read a couple of period books on spark chamber design, and it seems that they require a continuous supply of gas to replenish gas that is trapped by the sputtering proces. There are also some reasonably complicated electronics involved, so the operation of the chamber display could be a day to day, or even hour to hour sort of thing, depending on who had to do the maintenance. I had hoped to make a sealed version to use as a desktop display, but that turns out not to be practical.

Dave

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Randy, KPSZ,

Thanks for the pointers to the Summer '64 General Electric Research Laboratory Bulletin. I put in a request to the GE website. Don't know if I'll hear anything back from them, but if not, I'll try the interlibrary loan service from Union College. They are about 3 hours down the road from me, so it's a bit of a drive, but I'll keep it in mind. They do have that neat round Victorian library buiilding (The Nott Memorial) there which houses a museum of technology, so it might be a fun day trip.

OK, well, scratch that idea. I just checked the Union Colege online catalog, and the bulletin is listed as a "non-requestable" item. They also do not show that particular issue in the database.

KPSZ, If you have an actual copy of that journal, I'd pay you for a good color copy of the relevant pages, plus your time, assuming I don't hear anything from GE. I do have access to a large format scanner and could post the article if I can get it.

Dave

The Summer 1964 Bulletin has one article on the WF "Experimental Apparatus" which has a

detailed diagram and description of the GE reactor. There is a picture of a young girl pushing the

button to generate the reaction. The rest of the bulletin outlines what fusion is and different equipment

needed to generate and control fusion reactor.

There is also a small brochure "Facts About General Electric's Nuclear Fusion Demonstration" which

is an overview of fusion and GE plans for the future.

I don't have the ability to scan & post the stuff - sorry.

Bradd,

I can't remember what sort of item I had autographed from the carillon. I just remember it was miserably hot that day, and we waited what seemed like an eternity for the concert. As I was actively playing organ at the time (still do, though rarely now), we wanted to talk with the carilloneur. I can't remember who it was, but he was very gracious, and we chatted for quite a while.

Dave

Hi Dave, and Welcome! Is this the photo you had?

post-3769-1220579710_thumb.jpg

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The Carillon player at the Coke Pavilion that we're most familiar with is a guy named Klein- John Klein if I remember right.

He put out a record album or two (one a Christmas album) of him playing the carillon at the Coke Pavilion.

There is also an album of him playing it after it was reassembled at Stone Mountain, Georgia after the World's Fair.

I have also seen an album of music played by John Klein at the Vatican Pavilion. I have very little information on that one though.

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I can make a scan of it for you and send it to you on a CD. I already did the brochure.

My problem is I have a cheap dial-up connection. To scan things that you can read

the file takes forever to upload and I keep losing my connection.

Kevin

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Kevin,

Thanks for offering to scan the article. If you burn it to a CD, you can make a nice high resolution color scan.

Drop me an eMail at the address available in the "Find a member" eMail option, and I'll send you a postal address.

or you could try eMailing it to my address. I know that there are download managers that help with getting big files on slow connections, but I don't know if they work in the other direction. I wonder if you could FTP it to my site. I have 60 meg of free hosting space to capture it.

Thanks again.

Dave

I can make a scan of it for you and send it to you on a CD. I already did the brochure.

My problem is I have a cheap dial-up connection. To scan things that you can read

the file takes forever to upload and I keep losing my connection.

Kevin

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Wow! Great photos, Wayne.

I regret to say that my only notable historical thought on cosmic rays comes from a comic book. I think of the Fantastic Four. When the four went into space (rushing out to beat the Russians from doing the same first, of course. This was the 1960's) They were bombarded by Cosmic rays which transformed them into super beings.

The rendering of cosmic rays, in that comic book, looked amazingly like your photo. I wonder if Jack Kirby (the artist of the before mentioned four color fantasy) was influenced by an exhibit much like this one? (He wasn't influenced by this exhibit, unless it existed in prior form elsewhere. The Fantastic Four #1 was published in 1961.)

As I grew, it was a bit of a disappointment to me to realize that super powers were much harder to obtain than being bombarded by cosmic rays, or by being bitten by a radioactive spider.

Any more photos, Wayne? I'm sure we'd all love to see them. I promise not to babble on about old comic books if you post them! <!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc-->

Hmmm. I wonder if Rose knows about this issue...

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Thanks for sharing that cover, Randy. I checke dout the comic and there is an epic battle that starts at Shea and moves to the "World Globe" - which they point out was a relic from the Fair, so I wonder why they didn't use the real name. The comic came out in 1972 so I douby the Fair Corp was likely to charge for using the name - but knowing lawyers they probably decided to be safer than safe.

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On ‎9‎/‎29‎/‎2004 at 10:12 PM, waynebretl said:

One of the posted pictures actually shows a cosmic ray as an orange line in the chamber. Actually, the path is shown as a series of short sparks between the horizontal plate-shaped electrodes. The sparks are orang becuase of the neon gas used.

 

Guess what! I went back through my slides and found two shots I took of the spark chamber - one showed nothing, but on the other I actually caught a spark path. The reflections from the surrounding exhibits make it hard to see, but here it is, in the lower center of the chamber - and enlarged in the second image.

 

-Wayne B

Wayne,

Sorry to keep asking you to dig back for information and photos, but you seem to have some very interesting ones.

If you could find the slide of the "Cosmic Ray Spark Chamber" could you repost it?  I'd appreciate it, because it may be the only photo which actually shows a "ray" in the chamber.

Thanks in advance.

 

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4 hours ago, sunguar said:

Wayne,

Sorry to keep asking you to dig back for information and photos, but you seem to have some very interesting ones.

If you could find the slide of the "Cosmic Ray Spark Chamber" could you repost it?  I'd appreciate it, because it may be the only photo which actually shows a "ray" in the chamber.

Thanks in advance.

 

OK - on my list to check for. 

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I dunno, but if by "ray" we mean sparking between the levels of the cosmic ray detector, my slide appears to show several, especially near the bottom of the unit, where there is less competition by the distorted lighted background that caused smears near the top. I recall making an effort to capture an actual event, which came frequently with sharp snapping sounds. My impression at the time was that the chamber designed for GM merely detected a cosmic ray by sparking in a random way, rather than revealing its exact path. Some of the multiple sparks from the same level might be just a feature of the detector's construction, or maybe rapid events that were faster than my camera shutter could differentiate. Sorry I can't be more specific. 

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It might be that there's a critical setting of voltage to get sparks from cosmic rays and not have it sparking randomly due to local radiation, ionization due to room light, etc.

If so, then some of the gaps along the ray path might not spark, which is what seems to be happening. 

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Here are the two shots that I took. #1 actually has a long but faint series of sparks down the middle, that are veiled by the reflections in the glass, in addtion to the single bright one near the bottom. I made an image of the difference between #1 and #2 and enhanced the contrast and color saturation so you can see it better.

#1 Bright sparks near bottom and long faint streak of sparks top to middle:

spark chamber 1.jpg

 

#2 

spark chamber 2.jpg

 

#1 minus #2

spark chamber 1-2 difference contrast.jpg

 

brightened crop of bottom of #1

spark chamber 1cropped brightened.jpg

Edit:  the more I look at this, the less sure I am it's an actual long streak and not just a misregistration of reflections in the two images - will have to return to Photoshop and see what I can do.

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Thanks Ralph and Wayne.

There is so much background reflection it's hard to tell what one is looking at.  They should have put the exhibit in a partially shaded area or have a semi-circular partition around it like this ( exhibit ).

What amazes me is that this thing actually worked.  I think that today they would put on a display with "flashy" lights and call it a "simulation".

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The chamber was, of course, designed to identify cosmic "rays," not ambient radiation. These are generally muons, created by highly energetic collisions between ions arriving from the sun, or outer space, and earthly atoms very high in the atmosphere. Although they exist for only a fraction of a second, Einstein's relativity shows that the newly created muons can actually reach the ground (space is dilated as well as time). Since the energy of photons from ambient sources are tiny compared to cosmic objects (which have mass as well as velocity), they couldn't activate the chamber. Otherwise there would be a constant roar of sparking rather than the intermittent snapping I observed. One might argue that power supply recharging time could account for the interval between sparking, but I rather expect that the scientific minds that constructed the chamber would want their baby to be as advertised. By the way, not all cosmic "rays" reach the ground, but if you brought the chamber along on a typical airline flight at 30,000 feet, you'd see why there is an elevated chance for cancer among pilots, flight attendants and frequent travelers.

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Here's a better difference image, this time carefully adjusted to cancel out the reflections as much as possible, and contrast boosted. I realize now that the reflections and the sign lettering cannot be canceled simultaneously because they were at different distances. Now you can plainly see a streak extending through the center. 

spark chamber 1_2 difference.jpg

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