Nuclear Physics: Radiation by Mistake

Foreign critics screamed that the U.S. high-altitude nuclear test of July 9 would destroy the natural radiation belt that girdles the earth. An impressive group of U.S. scientists including Professor James Van Allen, who discovered the belt, brushed aside such fears. The nuclear explosion, they predicted, would have little effect on the natural radiation belt, and any additional radiation that it might cause in space near the earth would dissipate in a few days. Last week the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Atomic Energy Commission and the Department of Defense...

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