Science: High Voltage in the Sky


Ever since University of Iowa Physicist James Van Allen discovered the earth-circling belts of radiation that bear his name, scientists have been trying to answer a simple but perplexing question: How do the electrons and protons that are trapped in the outer belt get there in the first place? Now, summarizing data he and other scientists have obtained from a host of recent satellites, Van Allen himself has reported a possible answer. At a meeting of the American Physical Society in Manhattan, he suggested that the charged particles are drawn into...

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