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A Thin Cosmic Rain: Particles from Outer Space by Michael W. Friedlander

By Michael W. Friedlander

Enigmatic for a few years, cosmic rays are actually identified to be no longer rays in any respect, yet debris, the nuclei of atoms, dropping rain constantly in the world, the place they are often detected in the course of the surroundings and infrequently even hundreds of thousands of toes underground. This e-book tells the long-running detective tale at the back of the invention and learn 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 normal reader, Michael Friedlander, a cosmic ray researcher, relates the historical past of cosmic ray technology 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 fascinating phenomena, his publication makes us occasion to the hunt into the character, habit, and origins of cosmic rays—and into the assets in their huge, immense power, occasionally enormous quantities of thousands occasions more than the power conceivable within the strongest earthbound particle accelerators. As this seek led unexpectedly to the invention of latest debris akin to the muon, pion, kaon, and hyperon, and because it unearths scenes of striking violence within the cosmos and gives clues approximately black holes, supernovas, neutron stars, quasars, and neutrinos, we see truly why cosmic rays stay significant to an astonishingly varied diversity of analysis reports on scales infinitesimally small and large.

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

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Extra resources for A Thin Cosmic Rain: Particles from Outer Space

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Edmond Halley, so well remembered for his association with the famous comet, was also renowned for his magnetic survey. He carried out this work during three voyages between 1698 and 1702 for the British Admiralty, which had a continuing interest in the improvement of navigational aids. In what was probably the first scientific expedition completely supplied and funded by a government, the Royal Navy provided Halley with a ship and all the instrumentation needed for his survey. Royal recognition came in 1701, on the command of King William to the Navy Board: “In obedience to His Majesty’s Commands .

For this reason, no importance had been attached to these strange orbits by CR researchers, even though their mathematical existence had been known from the calculations of Störmer, Lemaitre, and Vallarta. Then, totally unexpectedly, these orbits were rediscovered in 1958. Under the auspices of the International Council of Scientific Unions, a coordinated international study of the Earth, the International Geophysical Year (IGY), was planned for 1957–58. Many types of observations were to be carried out simultaneously all over the world, to reach a better understanding of the Earth and its relation to the sun.

6. Bristol University balloon, 1953. The inflated balloon is being wheeled out to the tarmac for launch. Inflation took place inside a 120-feet-tall hangar, originally used for airships. Hydrogen was available through a 10-inch spigot on the hangar floor. ) —30— i d e n t i f y i n g c o s m i c ray s depend heavily on the perceptiveness of “scanners,” laboratory technicians who are skilled at recognizing unusual tracks. Scanning a photographic emulsion is laborious, comparable to reading the Sunday New York Times with a hand lens that can show only three or four letters at a time.

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