Have you ever wondered about the study of cosmic ray effects? The Universe is ever-expanding its been expanding for billions of years now. Along with our universe’s expansion, astronomers and scientists discovered and observed new phenomena like Cosmic rays. Cosmic rays have their own set of pros and cons.
Our world is full of wonders and almost most of them are still undiscovered by us humans. The observation and study of such phenomena might help the human race to venture more into the field of Science. Astronomy would also help us understand the working of the universe and finally its purpose. To date, many things are left to be discovered.
The discovery of such distant objects will help us in understanding more and more about our universe. This in turn would lead to better action and response. We will discuss the study of cosmic ray effects on stars, planets, and collectively our entire Universe.
1. Study of Cosmic Ray Effects
Cosmic rays play a very important part in our universe. To the universe, it’s like a kind of gift that is similar to that of rain to Earth’s atmosphere.
The cosmic ray consists of a cluster or a group of protons, neutrons, and electron atoms that rains down. Not only on Earth but almost on every planet present in the universe. To know more about the study of Cosmic ray effects let’s learn more.
Cosmic rays are high-energy particles that consist of an atomic nucleus that produces its energy spectrum and travels collectively. In a group of or a cluster of similar high-energy producing particles.
The cosmic rays were physically observed by the astronaut Buzz Aldrin. When Buzz and his team landed on the moon buzz observed a shiny flicker in his eyes this flicker was observed.
Even when his eyes were closed. This came as a shock and realization that how powerful were cosmic rays. They were powerful like a bullet that was shot out of a pistol. But with way more energy than the bullet.
1.01 Reasons To Study The Cosmic Ray Effects
The study of cosmic ray effects helps us to determine the benefits and the flaws of this phenomenon and also understand the working of cosmic ray particles. The cosmic ray particles travel at the speed of light throughout the universe.
It is believed that these particles may be coming from outside of our solar system. The cosmic rays represent a very small part of our universe but also a very crucial one. Cosmic rays are not only packed with high energies but also electromagnetic radiation.
The energy range of the cosmic rays varies in the eyes of nuclear physics but any cosmic ray consists of higher energies than a human can face. These rays can be harmful to human health reason why it is better to make a limited interaction with such extreme energies.
The study of cosmic ray effects has helped us humans in understanding a lot of other phenomena such as solar winds which carry such high-energy particles along with them. Cosmic rays consist of many types within them.
Cosmic rays differ from each other based on their cosmic ray intensity their electromagnetic radiation emitted and others. The study of cosmic rays was primarily done to understand and sort the types into different classifications. This classification helps us to determine and make it easier to study the further process about it.
1.02 The Cosmic Ray Observatory
To observe nature’s one of most crucial phenomena it is necessary to have a good set of instruments that can study and observe this phenomenon.
The Hubble telescope was made to observe the very distant stars and galaxies in our cosmic world it was necessary to develop a similar instrument that could gaze upon distant objects. These distant objects help us humans to get proper knowledge about our Cosmic world.
The first ever particle detector was developed in the year 1958. It was a space satellite that could measure the radiation dose of the cosmic rays and then could transmit it to humans via satellite systems. This satellite system had its backstory. In the year 1952, a small experiment was done to observe the Cherenkov Light.
This experiment was done using a very limited inventory of instruments. These Instruments was consisting of a dustbin, a military parabolic mirror, and a 5cm phototube Multimeter.
1.03 Aftermath Of Cosmic Ray Observatory
Due to this simple and cost-effective experiment today we have multi-billion dollar instruments that are way more powerful than their original iteration. The idea was fuelled and supported by Patrick Blackett. This later led to the development of a satellite that could do the same work but from space.
As space observes higher cosmetic Phenomenons satellites were developed that could observe the phenomena from a greater distance and also frequently. However, these satellites were rotating close to Earth’s orbit.
They were kept close to Earth’s orbit so that they could stay protected from the harmful cosmic rays that could destroy the satellites or just simply as a protection against any similar incident. The satellite that was launched in 1958 was named Explorer I.
This was the very first satellite that could observe upcoming cosmic rays. It was designed by George H Ludwig, who was working as a scientist in a cosmic ray laboratory in the State of Iowa which is in the USA.
The Explorer I was a very powerful and reliable satellite of its time. It was powered by Anton 314 Omnidirectional Geiger Muller Tube. This helped the satellite to capture protons that consisted of energy above 30 MeV and electrons having energy over 3 MeV.
This satellite could observe the rays which were coming from interstellar space, from any space environment coming towards the earth. The Explorer I was a very accurate satellite of its time. Before moving any further we will learn about the Cherenkov Experiment that led to this.
1.04 The Cherenkov Experiment
In this section, we will go in-depth about the Cherenkov Experiment. It helps in understanding the study of Cosmic ray effects. The name of this experiment was termed after the Soviet scientist Pavel Cherenkov. Cherenkov was a very reputable scientist in his time.
He won a Nobel prize in the year 1958, the prize was awarded to him because he was the first one to observe radiation. Along with him was also Sergey Vavilov under whom Cherenkov carried out this experiment. This experiment was therefore named after both Vavilov-Cherenkov experiments. In this experiment, Cherenkov was writing a thesis for his final year.
In his original thesis, his topic was the luminescence of uranium salts under the influence of gamma rays. It was concluded by him that the bluish glow was not the fluorescent radiation in his anisotropy of radiation.
This theory was later modified using the works of various other renowned scientists like Einstein whose theory of relativity helped the scientists to come up with proper working which led to the winning of the Nobel prize in 1958.
1.05 Thesis Of The Study Of Cosmic Ray Effects By Cherenkov
In the Cherenkov Experiment, it was discovered that electromagnetic radiation occurs when a charged particle like an electron is passed through a dielectric medium at a high-rated speed at which the rate is greater than the phase velocity.
To know more about the study of Cosmic ray effects let’s learn about phase velocity. A phase velocity is a spread of velocity in a particular medium. This medium could be in air water or ground level. This was the experiment that led to the discovery of electromagnetic radiation and the existence of cosmic rays.
Upon the discovery of this phenomenon lot of great investors started investing in this project which eventually led to the making of particle detectors. A particle detector is a tool or an instrument that helps to detect the cosmic radiation around it.
It’s not only limited to cosmic rays but any electromagnetic rays that propagate around the device. The particle detectors help in identifying the intensity of the radiation around them.
In those early days, the technology of particle detectors was not as advanced as what we have today. This led to the measurement of rays or particles on only a limited amount of energy.
The particles of lower energy were simply ignored whereas the particle with higher amounts of energy would simply harm the device.
Still, the particle detection methods led the scientists to understand various particle physics that were present in the upper atmosphere as well as the lower orbit of our earth.
The particle detector helped in the understanding of the gamma-ray bursts and the energy ranges of the radiation. The primary, as well as secondary particles in the upper atmosphere, are the cosmic ray sources.
1.06 Real-Life Side-Effects Of Cosmic Ray
To know more about the study of Cosmic ray effects let’s go in depth. Cosmic rays are proven to be highly energetic as they gush out from outer space through solar winds.
These solar winds very consist of enough ultrahigh-energy cosmic rays to kill a human in a second if they are projected directly toward a human. Cosmic rays consist of highly charged particles that can penetrate through humans and metals. The charged particles contain very high amounts of radiation.
This radiation can disturb our brains cause cancers and do much more damage. Luckily we humans don’t face radiation at the ground level.
However, the pilots that fly in the aircraft in the sky and the spacecraft engineers present in the space station or satellite face it directly. The reason why to avoid any major damage, they are well equipped with the proper gear that minimizes but not eliminate the risks.
1.07 Effect Of Cosmic Rays On Electronic Equipment
However, humans aren’t the only ones that face radiation effects. Radiation also damages the machines like RAMs, CPUs, and other electronic items like logic gates, transistors, and various other ICs.
The first side effect of the cosmic ray flux or cosmic radiation was observed in Belgium in the year 2003. That year during the elections the voting was done in Belgium and it was done through computers.
At the end of voting the vote counts were processed by the scientist to verify that they tally up with the total number of votes. However, during the tallying process, they found out that the vote count of one candidate was not tallying with the total number of votes and instead was a way higher count.
The scientist then found out it was the radiation that disturbed the logic gates by flipping the values due to striking with the machine. This proved that radiation was not only harmful to humans but also to machines.
Similar incidents occurred during a flight from Singapore to Perth, the flight dropped a lot of altitude and had to make an emergency landing. Later it was found out that radiation was the cause of the same.
2 The Discovery of Galactic Cosmic Rays
To know more about the study of Cosmic ray effects let’s learn about its discovery. The discovery of Cosmic rays was first done by Victor Hess in the early 20s more specifically in the year 1917. Victor Hess was an Austrian Physicist who won a Nobel Prize for the discovery of Cosmic rays.
In his bachelor days, he experimented to measure the variations in the radiation of the atmosphere. It was believed that the earth’s surface was the origin of the radiation dose but instead, it was found that the radiation increased in the higher atmosphere.
Hess measured the variations by flying out in a hot air balloon and he discovered that as the altitude of the balloon kept on increasing the radiation kept increasing. This led him to conclude that it was not the sun nor the Earth that was the source of such massive radiation.
2.o1 Some Unknown Facts About Cosmic Rays
Cosmic rays are rays that are a collection of high-energy charged particles that travels at extremely high speed. These particles primarily get deflected from their electromagnetic fields and have a very high speed.
Unlike any ordinary ray, this ray doesn’t travel in a straight line but rather in the fields of electromagnetic current and then bounces off towards the trajectory path.
Because of their high speed and reactive nature, these waves are believed to be the most dangerous waves for any human being or animal. Not only it affects human health but also can pass through high-density metals.
This makes them nearly invincible from travelling within any bounds. These waves are believed to be originated from outside our solar system they might have originated outside our galaxy.
Cosmic rays can be galactic as well as extragalactic cosmic rays. The particles travel a lot of distance before making it to their final destination. Throughout their journey, they pass through a lot of electromagnetic fields that change their trajectories.
The cosmic rays represent very crucial phenomena in our universe. The origin of cosmic rays is basically due to the collapse of any big star-forming into a supernova that later sends these rays across the universe. Cosmic rays are classified into two types that is. 1. Primary cosmic rays and 2. Secondary cosmic rays.
2.02 Primary Cosmic Rays
Primary cosmic rays are rays that are high-energy particles that originate by themselves due to supernovas and other factors of such high energies.
These primary particles travel at the speed of light changing their trajectory due to any oncoming electromagnetic disturbance this leads to an increased energy spectrum along with increasing velocity that leads them to travel.
Let’s talk about primary rays in detail, so the majority of the particles are comprised of atomic nuclei whereas the rest are free particles. Many of these particles are helium nuclei which are similar to alpha particles.
The remaining cosmic rays comprise elements that are heavier than helium and hydrogen but lighter than iron. Primary rays originate from a variety of origins across our universe.
This cosmic ray might be coming from solar flares or any other explosion of the stars like our sun. The particles which are emitted by our sun are most of the time referred to as solar energetic particles. There are also other means through which these particles may originate like nova or supernovas.
The primary rays travel also travel through any solar activity or even solar wind. The solar wind is a wind that is present outside our earth’s atmosphere but present in our solar system and galaxy.
2.03 Origin of Primary Cosmic Rays
The origin of a primary ray begins as soon as they are propelled out of a cloud of dust and gases and travel in the same direction unless the primary rays are not influenced by any high electromagnetic field obstructing its way.
If the particles are disturbed by any magnetic field they get into the field and travel through the field. This leads the particles to become charged.
As these particles are charged, they again get propelled out of the magnetic field. These charged particles then again continue their journey in the trajectory they are expelled to.
The process repeats again and again unless the ray collides with any obstructions in its middle. The obstruction might be any spaceship, space station, or satellite. It could even be a planet.
The primary rays are proven harmful to both us humans as well machines. On their collision with machines, they can disturb their atomic structure as well as cause imbalance which can kill a machine. The process is so fast that it can’t be seen.
We are protected by these primary rays due to our earth’s atmosphere and its magnetic field. When the primary rays come close to the earth it collides with our earth’s atmosphere which consists of nitrogen and oxygen. This collision breaks the structure of the atmosphere of cosmic rays and leads to them converting into secondary rays.
2.04 Secondary Cosmic Rays
Secondary rays on the other hand are the rays that are somewhat a result of the primary cosmic rays. These energy cosmic rays are the result of the collision of primary cosmic rays with the atoms of the earth’s atmosphere.
They are believed to be having lesser energy than the primary cosmic rays. This is because their atmospheric nuclei are less reactive than that of the primary cosmic rays.
Secondary rays are the remnants of primary rays. These energy cosmic rays travel at the speed of light throughout the galaxy and during this process, they collide with anything like a spacecraft or satellite systems.
For example, when the rays travel towards the earth, they have to go through our earth’s atmosphere to reach the surface. During their journey towards the earth, they collide with our earth’s atmospheric gas layers.
2.05 Atmospheric Gas Layers
These gas layers mainly consist of molecules of oxygen and nitrogen. These energy cosmic rays collide with them which leads to their division of molecules.
This division of smaller molecules caused by the collision is coined as Spallation. Meanwhile, the energy cosmic rays that were traveling also break into smaller charged particles containing high-energy gamma rays this leads to a very beautiful phenomenon of extensive air showers.
Air showers are the original primary particles that were traveling toward the direction of the earth originally. The direct remains the same however they go through a huge energy loss.
This leads to the shrinkage of their original size but still, it has enough energy to disturb human health. To know more about the study of Cosmic ray effects let’s learn about the constituents present in it.
A common secondary ray consists of mainly protons, neutrons, positive and negative charged Pions as well as positive and negative charged kaons. Some of these Pions and Kaons decay and turn themselves into muons and neutrinos. Muons are similar to electrons which are elementary charged particles.
Neutrinos on the other hand electrically neutral charged elementary particles. The remaining or the leftover Muons convert and decay into gamma rays. The gamma-ray photons travel at a very high speed and can penetrate through almost everything
In the study of cosmic ray effects, we have learned a lot about what is a cosmic ray, how it was discovered and what are its type. Cosmic rays are very intriguing phenomena out there which are rarely observed the humans on a ground level but are frequently observed by the ones who are in space or above ground level.
Cosmic rays are like very strong and powerful bullets whose projectile is undetermined but strongly influenced by the electromagnetic field around them.
These rays are proven to be harmful to both humans as well as electronic systems. These waves or rays are believed to be originating in a galactic plane. A galactic plane is a place where a cloud formation takes place after a supernova.