Cosmic Rays: Heavens, It’s Raining Particles!
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2016 | 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM
The Universe is a very lively place. Stars are born and later collapse under their own weight, becoming supernovas and ejecting particles into space with tremendous energy. The particles, commonly known as “cosmic rays,” were discovered in 1921 by Victor Hess. Ever since their discovery, cosmic rays have been of great scientific interest. While we know much about them, many mysteries remain. For example, what happens when cosmic rays hit our atmosphere? How do they impact our lives? We know they can interfere with electronic devices. Do they have any role in forming clouds or inducing lightning?
Dr. Takai, a physicist at Brookhaven National Laboratory, will present an illustrated overview and Cloud Chamber demo of cosmic rays and discuss the reasons they are exciting. He will also talk about an eight-year experiment he conducted at local high schools with results that show that cosmic rays can tell us about our atmosphere’s seasonal and daily changes.