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Cosmic Radiation

Nature volume 130, page 373 (03 September 1932) | Download Citation



IN a paper presented at the recent International Electrical Congress held at Paris, Prof. R. A. Millikan summarised in a convincing manner his views concerning the nature and origin of the penetrating cosmic radiation. The idea that they are neutrons, although it would combine the advantages of particles with failure to be deflected in the magnetic field of the earth, he considers unnecessary and not superior to the photon hypothesis. Commenting on the experiments which have been made to find if there is any preferential direction in which they enter the air, Prof. Millikan takes the view that there is no evidence that they are other than isotropic; this is in accord with his interpretation of their absorption curve, according to which the cosmic rays arise from processes involving the agglomeration of hydrogen nuclei for, probably, a very long time until they condense catastrophically to form a new nuclear type, which could scarcely occur where the temperature and pressure were not extremely low, as in interstellar space.

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