By Michael W. Friedlander
Enigmatic for a few years, cosmic rays are actually identified to be now not rays in any respect, yet debris, the nuclei of atoms, dropping rain consistently on this planet, the place they are often detected during the surroundings and infrequently even millions of ft underground. This booklet tells the long-running detective tale at the back of the invention and examine 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 novice scientist and the proficient common 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, updated, and readable account of those exciting phenomena, his publication 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 countless numbers of thousands instances more than the strength possible within the strongest earthbound particle accelerators. As this seek led without notice to the invention of recent debris reminiscent of the muon, pion, kaon, and hyperon, and because it unearths scenes of notable violence within the cosmos and provides clues approximately black holes, supernovas, neutron stars, quasars, and neutrinos, we see basically why cosmic rays stay important to an astonishingly assorted variety of study experiences on scales infinitesimally small and large.
Attractively illustrated, engagingly written, this can be a attention-grabbing within examine a technological know-how on the heart of our knowing of our universe.
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Additional info for A thin cosmic rain : particles from outer space
In many of these collisions, neutrons are ejected from atomic nuclei. With a halflife of about 11 minutes, each free neutron decays to produce a proton, an electron, and a neutrino. Because neutrons carry no electric charge, they are unaffected by the geomagnetic ﬁeld and can travel directly away from the sites of their release until they decay. In this way they can reach any point in the magnetosphere and produce electrons and protons in places that charged particles could not otherwise have reached as quickly or at all.
Just as important as the effects of collisions is the inﬂuence of the Earth’s magnetic ﬁeld. In many ways the Earth behaves as though it had a strong bar magnet buried deep within it, about 200 km from its center and not quite aligned with the axis of the Earth’s rotation. The extensions to this imaginary magnet come to the Earth’s surface at one geomagnetic pole near 79ЊN, 69ЊW, north of Thule in Greenland, and the other close to 79ЊS, 110ЊE, in the Australian Antarctic. Worldwide surveys of this ﬁeld have led to the mapping of a grid of imaginary lines of magnetic latitude and longitude, similar to the geographic parallels of latitude and meridians of longitude.
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. The interpretation, conﬁrmed by testing duplicate counters in the laboratory, was that the Geiger counters on board were being overloaded—which meant that the counting rate had to be at least 15,000 times greater than the usual CR rate.
A thin cosmic rain : particles from outer space by Michael W. Friedlander