Science: Sub-Atom-Smashing

It was the biggest week for nuclear physics since the Smyth Report came out. Scientists of the General Electric Co.' announced that their mighty betatron, which generates 100 million-volt X rays, had shattered not only atoms but also attacked the sub-atomic particles themselves. Bombarding neutrons and protons with their powerful X ray, the G.E. men had produced mesons*—particles whose mass is partway between a proton and an electron.

Mesons disintegrate in a few millionths of a second. They had been observed before only in the debris left by the impact of a cosmic ray. Now, for the first time, they could be...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


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

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

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