A new device for recording the tracks of charged particles - the spark chamber - has recently been developed and successfully applied in the experimental physics of elementary particles. The principal advantage of the spark chamber over other track detectors is its speed. However, the spark chamber exhibits anisotropy in the degree of localization of particles travelling at various angles with the direction of the electric field E. The spark follows
the particle trajectory only up to the angles ~ 30 - 40°. If a particle travels making a greater angle , a spark "shower'' is formed along the particle path parallel to E. The trajectory of such a particle is well defined in the electronic plane but the third coordinate parallel to E is known only to within the value of the interelectrode distance. Another disadvantage of the spark chamber is
the difficulty of recording the interaction and decay of particles. We shall describe a new type of gas-discharge chamber - the "streamer'' chamber - which records equally efficiently the particle tracks along any direction, reproducing the space configuration of the event. The essential feature of the streamer chamber is the use of an incomplete spark discharge. The point of passage of the particle is indicated not by a spark but by a streamer, or more exactly by the initial portions
of all the streamers which form from the electron avalanches along the particle path. The gas discharge in the chamber is stopped artificially at that stage when the electron avalanches grow into streamers and the latter begin to travel to the electrodes at a velocity of ~ 103 cm/sec. The radiation of the gas in the streamer plasma makes the track visible. The particle track consists of a series of luminous streaks which are the initial portions of the positive and negative streamers.
The length of the streaks depends on the duration of the electric field pulse and can be made sufficiently short. It is clear, from the mechanism of the track formation, that a large number of particles, irrespective of their direction, can be recorded in the streamer chamber. (Extracted from the introductory part of the paper.).
Related references See also Y. Kogan and Y. Iosilevsky, Zh. Eksp. Teor. Fiz. 45 (1963) 819;
Invention of the streamer chamber.