By Michael W. Friedlander

ISBN-10: 0674002881

ISBN-13: 9780674002883

Enigmatic for a few years, cosmic rays are actually recognized to be no longer rays in any respect, yet debris, the nuclei of atoms, dropping rain regularly on this planet, the place they are often detected during the surroundings and occasionally even hundreds of thousands of toes underground. This booklet 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 Nineties to the frontiers of high-energy astrophysics today.

Writing for the beginner scientist and the trained basic reader, Michael Friedlander, a cosmic ray researcher, relates the background of cosmic ray technological know-how from its unintentional 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 booklet makes us social gathering to the quest into the character, habit, and origins of cosmic rays—and into the assets in their huge, immense strength, occasionally hundreds of thousands of thousands occasions more than the power attainable within the strongest earthbound particle accelerators. As this seek led all of sudden to the invention of latest debris similar to the muon, pion, kaon, and hyperon, and because it unearths scenes of outstanding violence within the cosmos and provides clues approximately black holes, supernovas, neutron stars, quasars, and neutrinos, we see in actual fact why cosmic rays stay relevant to an astonishingly assorted variety of analysis experiences on scales infinitesimally small and large.

Attractively illustrated, engagingly written, this can be a interesting within examine a technological know-how on the heart of our figuring out of our universe.

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Extra info for A thin cosmic rain : particles from outer space

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These tests were carried out from 1958 to 1962, before growing public concern over radioactive fallout led to the adoption of the first test ban treaty. In the test explosions, large numbers of high-energy electrons were released and their progress followed as they spiraled along the magnetic field lines that passed through the locations of the test shots. In a particularly dramatic demonstration, the Argus shot detonated over the Johnston Islands in the Pacific produced an aurora later seen over Samoa, about 2,000 miles to the south.

Victor Hess examining equipment used by Arthur Compton during his worldwide survey. Note the heavy shielding around the equipment, housed on the ship deck. (Photograph courtesy of Washington University Archives, St. ) —43— t h e e a rt h ’ s m a g n e t i c i n f l u e n c e the polar regions there would be no restriction on the energies of the detectable primary particles. Overall, the number of particles detected should increase steadily as one moves away from the magnetic equator. The observations of Clay and Compton were thus nicely explained.

This force changes the particle’s direction by a small amount, so you can calculate where the particle will be a short time later. Now repeat the calculation, allowing for the changed direction and also for any difference in field strength. Once more, calculate where the particle will be after another short interval. Then repeat the whole process—millions of times. 1. Some computed cosmic ray orbits, showing the effect of the Earth’s magnetic field on incoming charged particles. The complexity of each orbit depends sensitively on the particle’s charge, momentum, and direction of travel.

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A thin cosmic rain : particles from outer space by Michael W. Friedlander


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