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The Nothing Labs Electronic Cloud Chamber

Important Note: The cloud chamber is not currently for sale - this information is only for reference.

This cloud chamber is based on a design published by Nothing Labs:
Click here to find out how to build your own!

Cloud chambers let you see paths left by ionizing radioactive particles. Traces appear as the particles ionize super-cooled alcohol vapor - causing it to precipitate.

Most cloud chambers require messy / inconvenient dry ice or other external cooling. They also need extended periods of time to reach operating temperature.

The Nothing Labs Electronic Cloud Chamber uses a thermoelectric ("Peltier") / air cooling system developed by Rich Olson to quickly chill its surface plate to -30 Fahrenheit without dry ice.

You can be viewing traces from radioactivity within 10 minutes of plugging it in!

Cloud Chamber with Lead 210 Sample (Click to Enlarge)

This package includes includes:

- Electronic Cloud Chamber Main Unit
- High power LED lamp
- Inflatable balloons (static source)
- "Radioactive Red" Fiestaware Alpha and Beta source (contains Uranium Oxide)

You provide: 99% Isopropyl alcohol (available online or at most drug stores)

Common Questions

Does this cloud chamber need a high voltage source?
No - it uses common inflatable balloons (a pack is included) to establish a static field. Placing the balloon on top of the chamber for about two minutes during startup clears stray ions - greatly improving trace visibility. High voltage sources were researched - but did not improve performance noticeably.

How long will the chamber run for?
The chamber can be run indefinitely - however you will need to re-apply the rubbing alcohol and balloon roughly every 45-90 minutes.

What is the included radioactive source sample? Where can I get other samples?
A piece of "Radioactive Red" Fiestaware is included with the product. Fiestaware dinnerware was manufactured in the mid-20th century that used Uranium Oxide in its glaze. It makes an excellent source of Alpha and Beta radiation while being relatively safe.

Minerals containing Uranium such as Autunite or Uraninite can be purchased on eBay inexpensively. The featured Lead 210 sample can be purchased from Images SI.

Is any further information available about the design of this chamber? Can I build my own?
This cloud chamber is based on a design made available to the public by Nothing Labs at this page.

Can this chamber be used to view background radiation and cosmic rays?
Yes! When used without a sample source - traces will be periodically visible from background radiation and cosmic rays.

How large is the supersaturated area in which traces are visible in?
Roughly 1.75" x 1.75" x .0625" thick.

How much noise does the chamber make?
The chamber's cooling fan makes a "whirring" sound somewhat louder than a typical desktop computer.

Is the chamber actually "sealed?"
Not completely - some air is allowed in / out of the chamber around the base of the glass. Extensive research indicated performance did not significantly benefit from creating a complete chamber seal.

What about a warranty?
The unit is fully warrantied for 180-days after purchase (excluding abuse / accidental damage).

Additional information is available in the Product Manual

If you have further questions about this product (or need support) - please contact support@nothinglabs.com