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LBL Engineering Division Mechanical Engineering Bubble Chamber notebooks, 1946-1974

Description of Collection


National Archives and Records Administration. Pacific Sierra Region.

1000 Commodore Drive
San Bruno, CA 94066

Papers created by

Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. Engineering Division.

Size of collection

1 linear foot
1 records box

Short description of collection

These records document the work of the Mechanical Engineering Department at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory.

Language(s) of collection


Collection number:

LBL-ARO-3202 (NRHS 434-05-041)

Historical Note

The laboratory was founded as the University of California Radiation Laboratory in 1931 by Ernest Orlando Lawrence, a University of California Berkeley physicist who won the 1939 Nobel Prize in physics for his invention of the cyclotron, a circular particle accelerator that opened the door to high-energy physics. It is a United States Department of Energy National Laboratory, operated by the University of California. The name of the laboratory has evolved since its founding: Lawrence Radiation Laboratory (1931-1958), the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory (1959-1995), and currently the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (1995-present).

The chamber was designed by the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory Mechanical Engineering Department, under supervision of Paul Hernandez. Design studies for the 72-inch chamber had started early in 1955, and the instrument was completed 65 man-years later, at a cost of $2 million. In a bubble chamber, particles blasted out of a nucleus cleave through this superheated sea like tiny torpedoes, leaving in their wake tiny trails of bubbles that can be photographed. Analysis of a particle's bubble chamber tracks can tell physicists much about the particle's physical properties and history.

Scope and Contents of Collection

These records document the work of the Mechanical Engineering Department at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory (LBL), the 15-foot Bubble Chamber, the 72-inch Bubble Chamber, cryogenics, and aspects of particle accelerator design. The logbooks (maintained by Paul Hernandez) contain engineering notes, project notes and data, research results and development.

Restrictions on Use and Access

This collection requires permission for access. Please contact the repository for more information, via email at

Selected Search Terms

These papers have been indexed in the International Catalog of Sources for History of Physics and Allied Sciences (ICOS) using the following terms. Those seeking related materials should search under these terms.


Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory.
Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. Engineering Division
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
Lawrence Radiation Laboratory.

Subject terms

Bubble chambers.
Bubble chambers. Design and construction.
Low temperature engineering
Particle accelerators. Design and construction.

Genre terms

Logs (records).

Administrative Information


Finding Aid to the LBL Engineering Division Mechanical Engineering Bubble Chamber notebooks, 1946-1974


American Institute of Physics Niels Bohr Library & Archives

One Physics Ellipse
College Park, MD 20740


Encoding Information

Machine-readable finding aid encoded by Melanie J. Mueller in 2014. Any revisions made to this finding aid occurred as part of the editing and encoding process.

Series I: LBL Engineering Division Mechanical Engineering Bubble Chamber notebooks, 1946-1974

Box 1 Folder 1 303 IBM 650 and Differential Analyzer: Application and Operation of UCRL Differential Analyzer, undated
Folder 2 304 ERA Eddy Currents; Electron Ring Calculations, undated
Folder 3 305 Nitinol; Engineering Notes, Calculations, undated
Folder 4 Book 307, Cryogenics Data; Engineering Notes 1948-1955, undated
Folder 5 Book 308, 72-Inch Glass Cool Down; Engineering Notes, undated
Folder 6 Book 310, Liquid Hydrogen Safety 1966 Cryogenic Conference; Notes, Presentation Paper, undated
Folder 7 Book 311, CERN 3.5 M Large Hydrogen Bubble Chamber, 1966; Report on Design Study, undated
Folder 8 Book 312, Panofsky; Lectures on Nuclear Accelerators, Nov. 1950 - March 1951, undated
Folder 9 Book 313, Physics and Accelerators; 17 Notes and Papers on Physics and Accelerators, Bevatron, Bubble Chambers, undated
Folder 10 Book 314, Particle Design Accelerator; Course Notes, undated
Folder 11 Book 315, Logbook Jan. 1956 - Sept. 1959, undated
Folder 12 Book 316, Logbook July 1958 - April 1963, undated
Folder 13 Book 317, Logbook Jan. 1967 - Nov. 1968, undated
Folder 14 Book 318, Logbook Jan. 1964 - Dec. 1968, undated
Folder 15 325; Mark II SLAC Detector Notes on 3x5 Cards Starting Nov. 1979, Notes From Cornell Visit, Bubble Chamber Costs, Cyclodrome, undated