EPJ H - Cosmic Rays: a (partly) untold story

EPJ A – Validating Aspects of the Strong-Coupling Regime of QCD
Domenico Pacini in May 1910 (32 years old) while making a measurement. (Courtesy of the Pacini family.)

The work behind the discovery of cosmic rays, a milestone in science, involved many scientists in Europe and the New World fascinated by the puzzling penetrating radiation, and took place during a period characterized by lack of communication and by nationalism caused primarily by World War I. It took eventually from the turn of the century until 1926 before the extraterrestrial nature of the penetrating radiation was generally accepted.

In the work that culminated with high altitude balloon flights, many important contributions have been forgotten and in particular those of Domenico Pacini, who, in June 1911, demonstrated by studying the decrease of radioactivity with an electroscope immersed in water that the radiation today called "cosmic rays" could not come from the crust of the Earth. This was the first time in which the technique of comparison of undersea measurements with measurements at sea level has been used to obtain a result in fundamental physics; this technique will be used in neutrino experiments of the near future.

This article carefully retraces the history of the discovery of cosmic rays and puts the unfolding story in both the political and scientific contexts. With the help of material previously unknown to the history of science, for example the nominations for the Nobel prizes related to cosmic ray research and the relevant internal reports of the Swedish Royal Academy of Science, and letters exchanged between Victor Hess and Pacini, a more complete view of this fascinating discovery is possible.

To read the full paper "Nationalism and internationalism in science: the case of the discovery of cosmic rays" by P. Carlson and A. De Angelis, Eur. Phys. J. H 36, 309-329 (2010) click here

This was our first experience of publishing with EPJ Web of Conferences. We contacted the publisher in the middle of September, just one month prior to the Conference, but everything went through smoothly. We have had published MNPS Proceedings with different publishers in the past, and would like to tell that the EPJ Web of Conferences team was probably the best, very quick, helpful and interactive. Typically, we were getting responses from EPJ Web of Conferences team within less than an hour and have had help at every production stage.
We are very thankful to Solange Guenot, Web of Conferences Publishing Editor, and Isabelle Houlbert, Web of Conferences Production Editor, for their support. These ladies are top-level professionals, who made a great contribution to the success of this issue. We are fully satisfied with the publication of the Conference Proceedings and are looking forward to further cooperation. The publication was very fast, easy and of high quality. My colleagues and I strongly recommend EPJ Web of Conferences to anyone, who is interested in quick high-quality publication of conference proceedings.

On behalf of the Organizing and Program Committees and Editorial Team of MNPS-2019, Dr. Alexey B. Nadykto, Moscow State Technological University “STANKIN”, Moscow, Russia. EPJ Web of Conferences vol. 224 (2019)

ISSN: 2100-014X (Electronic Edition)

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