Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences
The origin of the Cosmic Radiation - an unsolved mystery after 100 years of study
The cosmic radiation was discovered in daring balloon flights by the german physicist Victor F. Hess in 1912. Only 20 odd years after this discovery, and well before any direct studies of the cosmic radiation outside the Earths atmosphere had been done, Walter Baade and Fritz Zwicky made the (equally daring) proposition that the origin of the cosmic rays were to be found in Supernovae, exceptionally bright novae identified by the same two authors only a few months earlier.
The close connection between supernovae and cosmic rays has been the accepted truth now for 75 years, and in fact has been 'verified' recently, but nevertheless is quite unable to explain the observed chemical and isotopic composition of the cosmic radiation.
The data conflicts will be discussed as well as ways to reconcile these. In addition, current efforts to reanalyze some old data on the composition of the cosmic radiation will be described.
March 12, 2009, 10:40,