Six researchers discuss inside the Cloud Chamber lab

Coursework. Group funding. Seminars. Thirty-three faculty across eight departments. The Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences Institute (EPSSI) at Michigan Technological University promotes research and education in interdisciplinary areas spanning Earth, its ecosystems, and intergalactic space. Through EPSSI, students pursue the PhD program in Atmospheric Sciences and a minor in Remote Sensing.

The PI Cloud Chamber

Atmospheric science researchers at Michigan Tech don't cross their fingers for cooperative weather—the University's innovative pi cloud chamber allows them to head into the lab and make their own.

Clouds are an integral part of the Earth’s environment—providing the water we drink, cleaning the air we breathe, and influencing the climate in which we live. Researchers in this lab have developed a turbulent cloud chamber to study the interactions between particles and turbulent flows. The chamber—a cube with subwoofers on each corner—allows researchers to control the rate at which kinetic energy is dissipated by turbulence, and measure particle spatial distributions with digital in-line holography.