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Physics - History & Philosophical Foundations of Physics | Celestial Messengers - Cosmic Rays: The Story of a Scientific Adventure

Celestial Messengers

Cosmic Rays: The Story of a Scientific Adventure

Bertolotti, Mario

2013, XIV, 330 p. 105 illus., 12 illus. in color.

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  • Represents an up-dated publication on the history of cosmic ray research
  • Provides an excellent study of cosmic rays and astroparticles
  • Is written for readers with general interest in science and the history of science
The book describes from a historical point of view how cosmic rays were discovered. The book describes the research in cosmic rays. The main focus is on how the knowledge was gained, describing the main experiments and the conclusions drawn. Biographical sketches of main researchers are provided. Cosmic rays have an official date of discovery which is linked to the famous balloon flights of the Austrian physicist Hess in 1912. The year 2012 can therefore be considered the centenary of the discovery.

Content Level » Popular/general

Keywords » astroparticles - astrophysics - cosmic radiation - extraterrestrial physics - gamma radiation - history of astrophysics - history of physics - mesons and neutrinos - proton irradiation

Related subjects » Astronomy, Observations and Techniques - History & Philosophical Foundations of Physics - Particle and Nuclear Physics - Popular Science

Table of contents 

Prehistory - The electron, the proton and X-rays.- Prehistory - Radioactivity.- Cosmic rays - The antefacts.- The discovery - Victor F. Hess and the balloon flights.- The confirmation - Robert Millikan and the  “birth cry” of the borning atoms.- A turning point - Things are not as they look.- The earth magnetic field and the geomagnetic effects.- The positive electron.- The electromagnetic showers.- The muon.- The discovery of the π-meson, nuclear emulsions and the first “strange” particles.- The extended showers.- Nuclear stars.- The neutrino: elusive and capricious particles able to come from very far away.- What are the primary cosmic rays?.- The origin of cosmic rays.- X- and gamma rays from space.

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