Cosmic X-Rays, γ-Rays, and Electrons
When cosmic rays were discovered during the beginning of this century, they were thought to be all due to electrons.‡ However, subsequent work clearly demonstrated that this was incorrect and that, cosmic rays consist almost exclusively of protons and heavier nuclei. The search for a small flux of electrons, however, continued without much success for a long time. It was only during the last five years or so that the existence of a small but finite flux of electrons of cosmic origin has been conclusively established. As for X-rays it was only in 1962 that the first observations were made on X-rays of extrasolar origin. The discovery of these two weak components of the cosmic radiation is a natural consequence of recent advances achieved in detector systems and in the technology of high flying stratospheric balloons and space vehicles.
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