Bubble chamber photographs provide an insightful introduction to the exotic short-lived particles that emerge from all high energy accelerator experiments. When they study proton-proton collisions at the LHC, most of the particles that the physicists will pick up in their modern electronic detectors will be ones first identified in bubble chambers and their precursors, cloud chambers and photographic emulsions.
Since they show actual trails of bubbles that are formed as charged particles force their way through an unstable liquid, bubble chamber pictures are perceived by non-particle physicists as real, and therefore a good way to introduce particle physics. The pictures themselves are quite often easy to understand in an intuitive, qualitative way.
The pictures, moreover, possess a mysterious, cosmic beauty that is particularly appealing to the non-scientist.
Stimulated by the work of participants at the CERN High School Teachers’ Summer School over the last few years, this is a limited mini version of a Website aimed at teachers world-wide. Eventually it is hoped that it will be extended and will appear in many languages.