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Roger Clay

Cosmic Bullets

Cosmic rays have been something of a puzzle since they were discovered at the start of the 20th Century. In Cosmic Bullets Roger Clay and Bruce Dawson describe the work that has been done to try to solve this puzzle. The book has plenty of interesting information about cosmic rays, but I felt that it didn't have the buzz that it could have done. I thought the authors could have done more to some of the excitement of working in the field, and to indicate how explaining cosmic rays was an important part of cosmology in the 1930-1960 period. So you should read this book if you want to find out about cosmic rays, but I wouldn't particularly recommend it as recreational reading.

The book starts with the discovery of cosmic rays and shows how their investigation went hand in hand with the invention of new types of particle detectors. Throughout the book the problem of explaining the spectrum of energies is discussed, showing why high energy cosmic rays can't travel more than 300 million light years, and how lower energy particles will be greatly influenced by the galactic magnetic field. The later part of the book looks at the cosmic ray detectors which have been developed recently, leading up to the giant Auger project. However, the book was written nearly 10 years ago, and so doesn't have a great deal of information on this project.

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Paperback 208 pages  
ISBN: 0738201391
Salesrank: 651066
Weight:0.48 lbs
Published: 1999 Basic Books
Amazon price $15.63
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Amazon.co.uk info
Paperback 204 pages  
ISBN: 1864482044
Salesrank: 3890636
Weight:0.44 lbs
Published: 1997 Allen & Unwin
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Amazon.ca info
Paperback 204 pages  
ISBN: 1864482044
Salesrank:
Weight:0.44 lbs
Published: 1997 Allen & Unwin
Marketplace::Used from CDN$ 31.03
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Product Description
In 1992 the fastest object known to mankind hit the Earth's atmosphere at a speed within a billion-trillionth of one percent of the speed of light, carrying an energy far above that of the most powerful particle accelerator ever built. That object was a cosmic ray.Over 100 cosmic ray particles pass through our bodies every second. Some of these have enormous energies, far above those accessible using man-made particle accelerators. Many of them have traveled millions of light years across the Universe, and they bring with them clues about exotic astronomical systems like neutron stars, supernovae, quasars, and black holes.In Cosmic Bullets leading cosmic ray experts Roger Clay and Bruce Dawson tell the incredible story of the discovery and study of these messengers from deep space. They point out that despite a century of intensive research, it is still far from certain where most cosmic rays come from or how they were created. Nevertheless, the little-known story of their discovery and subsequent study holds many sudden twists and wonderful surprises. The authors have captured the excitement and mystery of astrophysical research, and the human drama of science, in this story of discovery.