Archives of Heavy Liquid Bubble Chamber Group, HLBC

Identity Statement [Top]

Reference code(s)

CERN-ARCH-HLBC-001 to 016


Archives of Heavy Liquid Bubble Chamber Group, HLBC


1958 to 1984

Level of description


Extent of the unit of description

16 items, 4 boxes, 0.5 linear metres

Context [Top]

Name of creator

Heavy Liquid Bubble Chamber (HLBC) Group

Administrative history

In 1958 the 1 meter Heavy Liquid Bubble Chamber (HLBC) Group, comprising members of the PS (Proton Synchrotron) magnet group (a team led by Colin Ramm), started to work on the propane bubble chamber. The bubble chamber project advanced slowly as long as there was still work to be done for the PS. Nevertheless, the design reached a stage where at least part of the chamber could be ordered and delivered during 1959.

In 1961 the HLBC group was integrated into Nuclear Physics Apparatus Division (NPA). In 1966 the CERN Council approved proposals by the Director-General for a reorganization of the structure of CERN and seven new departments were formed by regrouping the existing divisions. NPA division was integrated into PS Department.

In 1969 NPA Division ceased to exist. Some staff remained in the PS Department whilst most were transferred to the Track Chamber Division (TC) of the Physics II Department, directed by Charles Peyrou. TC Division became the division responsible for the high energy physics program at the PS using bubble chambers (Hydrogen Bubble Chambers + Heavy Liquid Bubble Chambers).

* Sources : CERN Annual Reports 1960 and 1977

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Ramm, Colin

Content & Structure [Top]

Scope and content

Bubble chambers were the most important particle detectors during the early years of high energy physics. A Bubble Chamber works on the principle that bubbles form in a liquid which is very near to its boiling point along the tracks of particles passing through the chamber. The bubbles are very small and hence the particle tracks appear as fine lines traversing the chamber and can be photographed. The liquid in a bubble chamber serves simultaneously as target and as detector.

The story of the heavy liquid bubbles chambers started with the Ecole Polytechnique Chamber (Paris), called BP3, which was followed by the CERN 1 m propane chamber and then by the Gargamelle chamber, the biggest heavy liquid bubble chamber in the world.

This collection contains documents about LEBC (LExan Buble Chamber) design operation, BIBC (Berne Infinitesimal Bubble Chamber) file used for CHARM (CERN Hamburg-Amsterdam-Rome-Moscow collaboration) experiment, Ultrasonic Bubble Chamber, focusing of particles PS accelerator Neutrino experiment, electrostatic separation for all secondary particle beams, Ramm chamber and layout of experiment, Neutrino tunnel with muon shieldings, pulsed beam transport, photos of Neutrino experiment of 1967, photos of the chamber at PS accelerator, and photos of HLBC.

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 Archives Database.

Description control [Top]

Archivist's note

Description prepared by Sandrine Reyes

Date(s) of description

Geneva, the 12th May 2004, Revised 2007.