Concerning New Elementary Particles in Cosmic Rays

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Abstract

AN analysis of the composition of cosmic rays at an altitude of 3,250 m. above sea-level (Alagez) which we carried out in 1946 revealed the existence of a noticeable number of particles with masses exceeding that of the meson. This result was obtained by applying a direct method of determining the mass of fast particles, according to their deflexion in a magnetic field and their range as found by absorption experiments. It was shown that almost 10 per cent of the particles of the cosmic rays have masses lying between 250 and 2,000 electron masses. These results were published in Russian in December 19461 and in English in January 19472. We suggested calling this group of elementary particles 'varytrons', stressing in this way the diversity of masses of the new particles. A month later, in February 1947, in an article in English3, we presented some evidence which proved that there exist in the cosmic rays positive and negative particles which are heavier than the proton, their masses being as high as 5,000 me. All these results were also published in Russian in the C.R. (Doklady) of the Academy of Sciences of the U.S.S.R.4 and in more detail in June 19475.

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References

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ALICHANIAN, A., ALICHANOW, A. Concerning New Elementary Particles in Cosmic Rays. Nature 163, 761 (1949) doi:10.1038/163761a0

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