Archives of Hydrogen Bubble Chamber, HBC

Identity Statement [Top]

Reference code(s)



Archives of Hydrogen Bubble Chamber, HBC


1948 - 1977

Level of description


Extent of the unit of description

50 Items, 2 linear metres

Context [Top]

Name of creator

Geneva. CERN. Hydrogen Bubble Chamber Group

Administrative history

In 1955 the Track Chamber Group (TC) was attached to the Scientific and Technical Services Division (STS) directed by Dr L. Kowarski. This division was also responsible for the electronic computer, the main workshop and the Information Service.

In 1958 the Track Chamber Group moved to the Proton Synchrotron Division, PS.

In 1960 Track Chamber Group became the Track Chamber Division (TC), responsible for Hydrogen Bubble Chambers Sector while Nuclear Physics Apparatus was responsibile of Heavy Liquid Bubble Chambers Sector.

In 1966 new Departments were formed by regrouping the existing Divisions (these continued until 1975). TC Division remained a Division integrated into the Physics II Department and still directed by Charles Peyrou responsible of the bubble chambers Group.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Filthuth, H - 1st October 1993

Content & Structure [Top]

Scope and content

The Hydrogen Bubble Chamber (HBC) collection covers topics including magnets, BC optics, Bubble Chambers electronics, BC runs, PS runs, HBC runs, SC runs 2m chamber, 30cm expansion liquid experiment, PS beam transport system, K1 - beam, K- beam, 30cm chamber and 10cm bubble chamber. This function was carried out by the TC group, later TC division.

In the 1950s and 1960s, Bubble Chambers were the dominant experimental tools in High-Energy physics.

The Bubble Chambers were filled with superheated liquid, just above the normal boiling point. If a charged high-energy particle passed through, the liquid started to boil along its path, thus producing a trail of tiny bubbles which could be photographed.

In 1957 the first Hydrogen Bubble Chamber with a cylinder 10 cm diameter was built and installed in the p mesons beam of the SC accelerator.

In 1958 CERN constructed a 30cm hydrogen chamber (HBC30). It took its first beam from the SC accelerator in 1959 and ceased its activiy in 1962.

In 1964 a 2m chamber (HBC200) was commissioned. The first 'Big' Bubble chamber started operating in 1965. In more than 12 years of active life HBC200 produced over 40 million photographs and used 20 000 kilometres of film.

This collection contains run and log books from the experiments, reports, correspondence and photographs from the bubble chambers.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information

Nothing was destroyed.


No further accruals are expected.

System of arrangement

The original order has been preserved.

Conditions of access and use [Top]

Conditions governing access

See file level description and the CERN operational circular No 3: rules applicable to archival material and archiving at CERN. In general, records on any subject that are over 30 years old, and all records of a purely scientific nature, may be consulted.

Conditions governing reproduction

Copyright is retained by CERN, no reproduction without permission.

Language / scripts of material

Most of the material is written in English.

Finding aids

Listed to file level in the CERN Archive Database.

Description control [Top]

Archivist's note

Description prepared by Maywenn Diallo-Haldimann. Informations sources include annual reports and "Infinitely CERN, Memories of 50 years of research"

Date(s) of description

Geneva, the 17 July 2002. Revised 2007.