New PDF release: A Thin Cosmic Rain: Particles From Outer Space

By Michael W. Friedlander

ISBN-10: 0674002881

ISBN-13: 9780674002883

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

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Sample text

The emulsions were not very sensitive, recording only low-energy tracks and heavily ionizing particles. These stars had short black tracks, mostly made by slow protons and alpha particles produced by secondary CR at the mountain altitudes where the plates had been kept for weeks. Because high-altitude balloons, which became a regular feature of CR work, were not readily available until the late 1940s, most CR experiments were carried out on high mountains. Cecil Powell who had been a student of Ernest Rutherford and C.

Photographic plates, measuring a few inches on a side, were used by Ernest Rutherford in his early experiments on alpha particles. With these plates he could count alpha particles coming from uranium and thorium, but the emulsions were too thin for long tracks to be seen. The longest-range track of an alpha particle from a radioactive nucleus is about 50 microns (1/20 mm, or 1/500 of an inch). Great improvements in emulsion sensitivity were achieved after World War II. One application of the photographic method, largely in the biological sciences, has been autoradiography.

Development, after a period of time that depends on the isotope half-life, shows tracks from the tracers that reveal where in the tissue the isotopes have been transported by biological processes. The early use of photographic plates in balloon flights to study cosmic rays set a pattern that was followed for many years. In November 1935, Captain Albert W. Stevens and Captain Orvil J. S. Army carried special Eastman Kodak plates into the stratosphere aboard Explorer II when —26— i d e n t i f y i n g c o s m i c ray s they set the altitude record for manned balloon flights at 72,395 feet.

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

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