Atmospheric Cloud Chamber of the Okanagan

What is AC2O?

Atmospheric Cloud Chamber of the Okanagan is a team of five undergraduate students from the Okanagan campus of the University of British Columbia. In December 2019 we participated in the Canadian Stratospheric Balloon Experiment Design Challenge (CAN-SBX) (organized by Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS Canada)) and we proposed an experiment to detect particles that originate from the decay of cosmic rays as they travel through the atmosphere.

Our experiment​

Cosmic Ray Detection through the Atmosphere. We will build a cloud chamber to detect the flux of muons and pions at different heights through the atmosphere. We aim to demonstrate the relativistic effects on muons, find the height at which pions are generated and check if the height at which these decay into muons has changed due to pollution. 


Who are we?

Leonardo Caffarello

Manager and Physics Analyst

Javier Perez Tobia

Deputy Manager

and  Physics Analyst

Hector Carrillo Estrada

Electrical and Software Developer

Giulia Rossi

Thermodynamics Analyst

Philipp Noah Eibl

Software Developer



Cosmic rays are high-energy radiation, mainly originating outside the Solar System and even from distant galaxies. Upon impact with the Earth's atmosphere, cosmic rays can produce showers of secondary particles that sometimes reach the surface.


Pions are a type of subatomic particle consisting of a quark and an antiquark and are, therefore, mesons. They are the lightest mesons and very unstable.


The muon is an elementary particle similar to the electron, with an electric charge of −1 e and a spin of 1/2, but with a much greater mass. It is classified as a lepton.


 A cloud chamber is a particle detector which consists of a supersaturated vapour. When energetic charged particles interact with the gaseous mixture by knocking electrons off gas molecules via electrostatic collisions, a trail of ionized gas which follows the particle's path can be seen.


The first particle that we detected with our first cloud chamber. (electron)



The University of British Columbia through its Tuum Est Student Initiative Fund (TESIF).

Survive and Thrive Applied Research (STAR) labs is a network of researchers at UBC’s Okanagan and Vancouver campuses, connected to colleagues in Western Canada, the UK, and around the world. STAR Labs bring the power of collaborative R&D to human performance challenges in extreme environments.

Polymershapes is an industry-leading plastic distributor in Canada. They will provide us with polycarbonate samples for our dome.

Polymershapes is an industry-leading plastic distributor in Canada. They will provide us with polycarbonate samples for our dome.


Survive and Thrive Applied Research 

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