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Gargamel in the land of molecules

Gargamel in the land of molecules

In 1973, the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), whose history began some twenty years earlier, made its first major discovery in the field of particle physics.

This discovery, made using a bubble chamber called Garchamel, is evidence of the existence of weak neutral currents. It was such a crucial turning point in the history of science that it became one of the pillars of the Standard Model of particle physics.

Today “Sciences Chrono” returns to this theoretical and experimental adventure that could never have seen the light of day with Delphine Blanchard, PhD student in the History of Science at EHESS's Alexandre Koyré Center and the CNRS History Commission.

CERN: A revolution in particle physics

The full video from which today's archive is taken: “Gargamelle: This film traces the design, construction and operation of this heavy liquid bubble chamber named after its gigantic size”, CERN, 1971

50th anniversary of the neutral current reaction in the Gargamelle bubble chamber (1973), CERN, 2023

A look back at 'weak neutral currents', CERN's first major discovery 50 years ago, École Polytechnique, 2023

Gargamelle, from its conception to the neutral undercurrents: a story full of twists and turns! Written by Delphine Blanchard, CNRS, 2023

CERN, What a Story!, CNRS, 2014

Discovery of weak neutral currents, CERN Courier, 2004

Science, QED

58 minutes

Scientific method

58 minutes

Music references

  • Opening credits: border By Neboa
  • Final credits: Space 1 By Nala Sinefru