Science: Clue to Atom Smashing

Each person on earth unwittingly encounters a shower of cosmic rays about once a minute, whether indoors or out. Each shower covers two or three acres and contains from 100,000 to 1,000,000 high-speed electrical particles. Even airraid shelters, are no protection—the rays penetrate steel and concrete. But no protection is necessary. The rays are harmless.

Last week Dr. Pierre Auger, who discovered these showers at his Paris laboratory in 1938, gave a new theory of their origin to the American Physical Society, meeting at the University of Chicago. They do not come from outer space as electrons: that would require a...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!