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 on this planet, the place they are often detected in the course of the surroundings and infrequently even hundreds of thousands of ft underground. This ebook tells the long-running detective tale at 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 trained normal reader, Michael Friedlander, a cosmic ray researcher, relates the background 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, updated, and readable account of those interesting phenomena, his publication makes us occasion to the quest into the character, habit, and origins of cosmic rays—and into the resources in their huge, immense strength, occasionally thousands of hundreds of thousands instances more than the power possible within the strongest earthbound particle accelerators. As this seek led all of sudden to the invention of recent debris similar 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 essentially why cosmic rays stay primary to an astonishingly assorted diversity of analysis stories 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 realizing of our universe.

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

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Rita L. Lerner and George L. ) —49— 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 cles. The field around a magnet can be pictured as filled by a family of lines. If a small magnetic compass is used to survey the field of a large magnet, the lines of force will follow the direction of the test-compass at different places (as with a magnet held under a sheet of paper on which iron filings are sprinkled). The term “lines of force” was introduced by Niccolo Cabeo in 1629, but it was Michael Faraday, a scientist of great insight and inventiveness working in London’s Royal Institution in the nineteenth century, who developed a quantitative model of magnetic fields—a visualization still of great use and found in most textbooks.

Particles trapped in the Earth’s radiation belts can continue to bounce between hemispheres until some new influence intrudes. 1 Particle speeds expressed as fractions of the speed of light. 88 —51— 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 field is not perfectly regular, the drift motion is actually very complex, and some particles can transfer to different field lines that will guide them down into denser regions of the atmosphere, where they will be lost through collisions. Alternatively, particles can be lost by collisions among themselves or by distortions of the magnetic field during times of increased solar activity.

The interaction between the solar wind and the Earth’s magnetic field is now studied with satellites and long-range space probes, but a starting point is an understanding of the basic phenomenon of magnetism. 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.

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