Energy distribution in cosmic rays and A general relativity wave equation
Pollard, William Grosvenor (1911-1989)
Master of Arts
The experimental evidence from the distribution of cosmic rays with magnetic latitude and from their absorption in the atmosphere demands that they have some sort of energy distribution. Examination shows that passage through interstellar space would not have appreciably distorted an energy band in cosmic-ray particles which have been travelling for 5x1^12 years. Consequently, it seems probable that they have preserved the energy distribution with which they were originally emitted. A Maxwell distribution in energy corrected for relativity is applied to functions which approximate Lemaitre’s and Vallarta’s curves for the latitude effect and fairly good agreement with Compton’s observations is obtained when 16.7 percent of the radiation has the Maxwell distribution, the remainder being composed of particles unaffected by the earth’s magnetic field. These results are applied to Lemaitre’s theory of the radioactive origin of the radiation. The distribution found has many features which suggest such an origin although the recent findings of Johnson and those of Alvarez and Compton, indicating that there are more positive than negative electrons in the rays, seem to discredit such a theory.