1st Edition

Cosmic Ray Physics An Introduction to The Cosmic Laboratory

    324 Pages 216 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    324 Pages 216 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    This book introduces you to the physics of cosmic rays, charged particles which reach us from known – and maybe unknown – sources in the cosmos. Starting from a brief history of this fascinating field, it reviews what we know about the creation of elements in the Big Bang and inside stars. It explains cosmic accelerators reaching fabulous energies. It follows the life cycle of cosmic rays all the way from their sources to detection near, on or below Earth. The central three chapters cover what we know about them at the level of the solar system, the Milky Way and the Universe at large. Up-to-date experimental results are presented in detail, showing how they are obtained and interpreted.

    The book provides an accessible overview of this lively and diversified research field. It will be of interest to undergraduate physics students beginning their studies on astronomy, cosmology, and particle physics. It is also accessible to the general public by concentrating mathematical and technical detail into Focus Boxes.

    Key features:

    • Complete introductory overview of cosmic ray physics
    • Covers the origins, acceleration, transport mechanisms and detection of these particles
    • Mathematical and technical detail is kept separate from the main text

    Chapter 1. Cosmic Rays and Us Chapter 2. A Brief History. Chapter 3. Gross features. Chapter 4. Particle Production. Chapter 5. Cosmic Accelerators. Chapter 6. Particle Transport. Chapter 7. Pointing Messengers. Chapter 8. In the Heliosphere.. Chapter 9. In the Milky Way. Chapter 10. In the Cosmos. Chapter 11. The Next Revolution. Bibliography. Index.


    Veronica Bindi is Full Professor and Chair of the Physics and Astronomy Department of the University of Hawaii at Manoa (USA). For more than 10 years, she has been part of the team at CERN (Switzerland) that led the construction, integration and operation of the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) installed on the International Space Station on May 2011 to search for dark matter and study galactic cosmic rays. She is working on AMS data analysis with a particular focus on solar modulation, heliophysics and space radiation. She has received a National Science Foundation career award and a grant from NASA supporting future manned missions to Mars.

    Mercedes Paniccia is Senior Research Associate at University of Geneva (Switzerland). She is member of the AMS Collaboration since 2003. She has contributed to the construction of the silicon tracker, to the calibration and the commissioning of the electromagnetic calorimeter, to the operation of the AMS detector, and to data reconstruction and analysis. Since 2017, she leads the AMS data analysis group at University of Geneva whose research focuses on the measurement of cosmic-ray nuclei fluxes and isotopic composition of light nuclei, with the aim of studying the propagation mechanism of cosmic rays in the galaxy.

    Martin Pohl is professor emeritus at University of Geneva (Switzerland). He has been working on experimental particle physics at colliders before turning to astroparticle physics in space. He was the head of the University of Geneva group for AMS until his retirement in 2017. He is the author of a textbook on particle physics, as well as the main author of two introductory online courses on the same subject (Coursera). He has recently published "Particles, Fields, Space-Time: From Thomson's Electron to Higgs' Boson" (CRC Press, 2020).