March 21, 2003  


Bubble Chamber Glass Finds New Home

By Joni White

Fred Kavli unveils the sculpture at the Inauguration event (Photo by Kathy Bellevin)

SLACís newest sculpture was unveiled on March 17, dedicated by Fred Kavli and commemorating the site of the future Kavli Institute. The sculpture was made entirely onsite, mainly from recycled materials including a 40-inch glass window from a bubble chamber used at SLAC from the 1960s through the 1980s.

The bubble chamber glass weighs 1078 pounds, and was used to separate the picture taking optics from the liquid hydrogen inside the chamber. When you look through the glass, you can see small xís, called fiducials, still etched into the surface of the glass. These fiducials were used for 3-dimensional stereoscopic reconstruction, and enabled accurate tracking of particles.

The glass was donated to SLAC by the estate of Joel Jensen. Jensen had worked on several bubble chamber crews. Ron Badger (EFD) was given custody of the glass by Jensenís estate, and offered it to the SLAC Art Committee for use as display. With the Inauguration of a new building for Particle Astrophysics, Neil Calder (Director of Communications and head of the SLAC Art Committee) felt creating a sculpture would be a good way to ensure the glass would be seen and enjoyed by many people and to connect our history to our future.

It was really a collaborative effort creating the sculpture, and many thanks go to our mechanical designer, Catherine Carr, as well as all who helped from MFD and SEM. We couldnít have done it without you! 


The Stanford Linear Accelerator Center is managed by Stanford University for the US Department of Energy

Last update Thursday March 20, 2003 by Kathy B