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

By Michael W. Friedlander

Tells the long-running detective tale in 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 mild velocity is 'no suggest trick."

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Geophysical studies have thus provided (in the latitude and east-west effects) the basis for identifying the primary CR as electrically charged particles rather than the (electromagnetic) photons that Millikan had initially preferred. When the IGY monitoring of cosmic rays led to the entirely unanticipated discovery of trapped particles, it was again geomagnetic theory that provided the framework for a model.

Data were telemetered back to Earth only when the satellite was over friendly territory, and at those times the satellite was not penetrating the dense parts of the trapped particle region. If the Russians had telemetered their data more continuously, in a form that could be understood by receiving stations elsewhere, we would probably now be referring to the Vernov radiation belts rather than the Van Allen belts. Van —48— 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 Allen announced his discovery in May 1958, and until then there had been absolutely no hint that the Russians had noted anything unusual in their counting rates.

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. The first systematic study of magnetism was published in 1600 by William Gilbert, physician to Queen Elizabeth. This work had a strong influence on Johannes Kepler, who developed his theories of planetary motion under the mistaken impression that a magnetic force from the sun drove the planets in their orbits.

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