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

By Michael W. Friedlander

Tells the long-running detective tale at the back of the invention and research of cosmic rays. A subject matter of his tale is the expertise of detection, for snaring a proton relocating approximately at mild pace is 'no suggest trick."

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Extra info for A Thin Cosmic Rain: Particles From Outer Space

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The phenomenon of radio emission by fast electrons traveling along curved paths in a magnetic field (synchrotron radiation) was first elaborated for astrophysical settings largely by the outstanding Russian theorists Iosef Shklovsky and V. L. Ginzburg. A curiosity of Jupiter’s emissions is that they are strongly influenced by Io, the innermost of the four moons discovered by Galileo in 1610. The cause of Io’s influence has not yet been found, but it should be noted that Io is well inside Jupiter’s trapped electron region, in contrast to our moon, whose orbit places it about ten times farther out than our outer radiation belt.

The Earth’s mag- —52— 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 netosphere is somewhat compressed on the sunward side and is pulled out considerably more on the opposite side of the Earth. The inner radiation belt is little affected by these changes, but the distant regions of the outer belt are much more responsive to them. 8. The omnidirectional flux of electrons with energies greater than 1 MeV. ) —53— 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 ticles has been confirmed by experiments with high-altitude nuclear explosions.

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. Some of these decay electrons and protons will have the right speeds and directions of travel to allow them to be trapped.

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