Cosmic Rays: Prologue

Chapter
Part of the Astronomers' Universe book series (ASTRONOM)

Abstract

An apparently insignificant fact initiated our story in the eighteenth century. The French physicist Charles-Augustin de Coulomb (1736–1806)—to whom we owe the expression of the electrical force exerted between two point charges—observed that a charged metallic conducting body, placed in air, even if insulated from the surrounding, loses slowly its charge [1]. That was probably the first documented observation of electrical conduction in clear air, later confirmed by many other researchers. May be the most convincing evidence of this phenomenon was given at the end of the nineteenth century, by Sir Charles Vernon Boys (1855–1944), an experimenter of great ability and ingenuity, who built many precision instruments.

Keywords

Alpha Particle Radioactive Substance Photoelectric Effect Atmospheric Electricity Compton Effect 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di Scienze di Base e Applicate per l’Ingegneria (SBAI)University of Roma “La Sapienza”RomeItaly

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