100 years ago this week, on August 7, 1912, Austrian physicists Victor Hess made a monumental discovery. Carrying instrumentation in a series of high-altitude (in excess of 5000m) balloon flights, Hess discovered cosmic rays.
Not only have cosmic rays been instrumental in the study of particle physics, but analysis of the decay rates of muons produced by cosmic rays as a function of altitude have provided a critical experimental confirmation of a key aspect of general relativity, time dilation due to gravity.
- A discovery of cosmic proportions – CERN Courier
- Nobel Prize in Physics 1936 – Presentation Speech
- Backreaction: 100 years ago: The discovery of cosmic rays
- Cosmic connections | Quantum Diaries