By Michael W. Friedlander
Enigmatic for a few years, cosmic rays at the moment are recognized to be now not rays in any respect, yet debris, the nuclei of atoms, dropping rain continuously in the world, the place they are often detected through the surroundings and occasionally even hundreds of thousands of ft underground. This publication tells the long-running detective tale in the back of the invention and research of cosmic rays, a narrative that stretches from the early days of subatomic particle physics within the Eighteen Nineties to the frontiers of high-energy astrophysics today.
Writing for the novice scientist and the expert common reader, Michael Friedlander, a cosmic ray researcher, relates the historical past of cosmic ray technological know-how from its unintended discovery to its current prestige. He explains how cosmic rays are pointed out and the way their energies are measured, then surveys present wisdom and theories of skinny cosmic rain. the main thorough, up to date, and readable account of those interesting phenomena, his ebook makes us get together to the hunt into the character, habit, and origins of cosmic rays—and into the resources in their huge, immense strength, occasionally thousands of thousands occasions more than the strength feasible within the strongest earthbound particle accelerators. As this seek led without warning to the invention of recent debris akin to the muon, pion, kaon, and hyperon, and because it unearths scenes of striking violence within the cosmos and provides clues approximately black holes, supernovas, neutron stars, quasars, and neutrinos, we see sincerely why cosmic rays stay important to an astonishingly different variety of analysis stories on scales infinitesimally small and large.
Attractively illustrated, engagingly written, it is a interesting inside of examine a technology on the heart of our knowing of our universe.
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Additional info for A Thin Cosmic Rain: Particles from Outer Space
The behavior of magnetic rocks, called lodestones, has been known since ancient times. These have been used for navigation since at least the twelfth century, and simple magnetic compasses, such as the kind one attaches to a dashboard, are still in use. Magnetic compasses do not point accurately to true north, however; one must compensate for local effects as well as for the displacement of the north magnetic pole from the geographic pole. The ﬁrst systematic study of magnetism was published in 1600 by William Gilbert, physician to Queen Elizabeth.
S. Explorer I and II satellites, however, were reaching far greater altitudes. In very eccentric orbits, they looped from their closest approach (perigee) at about 250 km (150 miles) above the surface out to a maximum distance (apogee) of about 2,600 km (1,600 miles) every 2 and 1/2 hours. And what Van Allen noted was that the cosmic ray intensity ﬁrst increased slowly with altitude, but above about 2,000 km the CR seemed to vanish, as if the counters were not working. Then, when the satellite dropped back below 2,000 km, the counting resumed.
During the same period (1945–1955), technical advances were transforming the cloud chamber. With careful design the chamber size was enlarged to several feet. 5. Left: The Pic du Midi Observatory, in the French Pyrenees. At the high-altitude research station, cloud chambers were operated by groups from Manchester University and the Ecole Polytechnique, and some of the early emulsions were exposed. Right: Cosmic ray physicists on the Pic du Midi, 1949. From the left: Beppo Occhialini (University of Brussels); from the right: Jean Rosch, director of the observatory, Max Cosyns (University of Brussels), P.