Particle Trace in Fog
What are the chances or is it possible to see a 'particle
trace' in ordinary fog similar to what happens in a cloud chamber? Are
there other places or circumstances where one of these particle traces
might be observed?
A cloud chamber operates on the principle that a high energy
particle/photon passing through a chamber that is SUPERSATURATED with some
vapor provides a trail of sites for the condensation of the unstable
vapor. The key is that the vapor phase is supersaturated and hence
unstable. There are various ways of re-establishing the unstable state
over and over again. When the particle/photon passes through the
supersaturated vapor and the "seeds" for condensation of the unstable
vapor are formed this track of fog particles is photographed. It would be
highly unlikely that a supersaturated water phase could be maintained long
enough to be able to observe a cosmic ray or some other particle traveling
through the atmosphere. Supersaturation does occur in the atmosphere. This
is observed occasionally when one experiences the beginning of a rain
shower, or and increase in the rainfall, after a lightning stroke. But it
would be difficult to "capture".
There are cases where high energy particles (alpha particles/cosmic
rays), or radiation (x-rays), pass through condensed media and leaves a
"damage" trail which is frozen in the solid phase and can be observed.
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Update: June 2012