Historical Content Note: The following material is reprinted from publications from throughout Fermilab's history. It should be read in its original historical context.

It's a BIG Achievement!!!

Thank you, Delphi, Indiana...Waukesha, Wisconsin... Birmingham, Alabama... and several other points east and west. The major component of the 15-ft. bubble chamber arrived by rail at NAL on October 25th, 1971 the last stop in a nationwide design and fabrication effort that began in 1970.

The 39,000-pound bubble chamber is a sphere of 12 1/2-foot diameter of 1 1/8" thick 316L stainless steel, topped by a 9-foot-diameter hemispherical "optics head." Six strategically-located "camera nozzles" allow stereo views of bubble tracks when the chamber is operational. A stainless steel "cooling jacket" also lined the inside of the "optics head."

Fabrication of the various parts resulted from the efforts of Wisconsin Centrifugal Company, who constructed the camera nozzles in Waukesha, Wisconsin; Canadian Lukens of Rexdale (Toronto), Canada, who built the optics head; Alloy Crafts of Delphi, Indiana, the cooling jacket. Chicago Bridge and Iron constructed the remaining portion of the chamber in Memphis, Tennessee and Birmingham, Alabama. Final assembly was completed in the Chicago Bridge and Iron Birmingham plant. Total cost of the chamber was $250,000.

The large chamber vessel was carefully delivered from the railroad siding at the north edge of the site to the NAL Village by a Belding Engineering crew on a beautiful 75o Indian Summer day. The arrival heralded a significant step in the construction progress at NAL.

The NAL 15-foot bubble chamber operated at liquid hydrogen temperature of -423 F and underwent rapid pressure changes during each accelerator pulse. Millions of photographs were taken during the life of the chamber. When operating, the chamber was filled with liquid hydrogen, deuterium, or a mixture of hydrogen and neon.

One of the beams available in the chamber was a beam of hadrons. In this case, the particles entered the liquid through a thin stainless steel beam window on the accelerator side of the chamber. The interactions of these particles in the liquid were photographed by cameras viewing the chamber through the optics nozzles.

Another beam consisted of neutrinos. In this case, the weakly-interacting neutrinos were dispersed over the entire area of the chamber wall and these interactions were photographed.

The 15-foot chamber used with the NAL accelerator produced hopes for exciting new discoveries in the frontier field of particle physics and was expected to be particularly useful in experiments to further our understanding of the role of the elusive neutrino.

The entire Bubble Chamber staff worked hard to make the chamber operational. They accomplished an enormous amount of work in a short span of time.

In November, 1971 the chamber was moved to its final position in the Bubble Chamber Building at the corner of Road A and Wilson Road, where it was installed inside a 22-foot-diameter vacuum sphere and the completed installation became a part of the Neutrino Laboratory system.