A Thin Cosmic Rain: Particles From Outer Space - download pdf or read online

By Michael W. Friedlander

ISBN-10: 0674002881

ISBN-13: 9780674002883

Tells the long-running detective tale in the back of the invention and examine of cosmic rays. A topic of his tale is the expertise of detection, for snaring a proton relocating approximately at gentle velocity is 'no suggest trick."

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An innovation by Walter Bothe changed this situation. Starting in 1924, Bothe and Geiger used two of Geiger’s counters for the simultaneous detection of electrons and X-rays in scattering experiments, and Werner Kohlhörster and Bothe then adapted the method to detect cosmic rays. 3). If a single cosmic ray went directly through the counters, each would give a signal and a coincidence would be registered. If the counters were triggered by unrelated particles, their arrival times and electrical signals would not in general be close together.

These —34— i d e n t i f y i n g c o s m i c ray s cosmic ray groups are still far smaller than the gigantic collaborations that are common in elementary particle physics, but it is perhaps the only way of investigating many of the questions at the forefront of modern astrophysics. In the following chapters, I look at the results obtained from this exploration and the inferences that can be drawn about the nature and origin of cosmic rays. —35— 3 the earth’s magnetic infl uence A p a r t f r o m a i r p l a n e f l i g h t s , we live our lives on the Earth’s surface, drawing comfort from its seeming solidity.

These extensive air showers are the only effective means of detecting the highest-energy gamma rays and also the highest-energy charged particles, which produce similar showers. I explore them in greater detail in Chapters 6, 7, and 9; for now the important point is that the sea-level detection of showers uses ionization and scintillation counters similar to those described earlier. The detection of cosmic rays, as we have seen, has required the invention of a whole arsenal of new techniques. Over the years the detectors have grown from small photographic plates and electroscopes to giant electronic systems weighing tons—but still capable of being carried on spacecraft.

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


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