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Cosmic ray in Engineering Physics

by shruti pandey

The group of high energy particles, which move closely to the speed of light is the cosmic ray. These rays are generating from the sun, and also from outside our galaxy.

It consists of secondary particles, which will deflect back by magnetosphere or heliosphere and passes into the space. These rays were first discovered by victor hess. It is a electromagnetic radiation.

Types of cosmic ray

  • Galactic cosmic ray or extragalactic cosmic ray
  • solar energy particles

Galactic cosmic ray

In this type of rays, the high-energy particles are originating from outside the solar system

Solar energy particles

In this type of rays, the high-energy particles are emitting from the sun, especially from the solar eruptions.

Primary and secondary cosmic ray

Primary cosmic rays comprise of protons, alpha particles and few heavier nuclei and very small amounts of positrons and antiprotons. Secondary rays are produced by the decay of primary cosmic rays with the effect of atmosphere.

Detection of cosmic rays

The detection of primary rays is made with the direct detection method or with the high-altitude balloons, whereas the indirect detection or the extensive air showers (EAS) is used for the detection of secondary rays.


  • It can damage our DNA, by doing this; can cause cancer and other sickness related to radiations.
  • It can make many natural background radiations.

Studies on cosmic rays

It was first detected atop mountains with the detection of only secondary particles. Then it has taken place from the outer space to the core of Earth’s surface.

These rays have identified with the help of long-range probes and also from Earth-orbiting satellites. It has a major role in the study of atomic nucleus and its components. 

By experimenting the radioactive nuclei of cosmic rays, scientists are able to date the cosmic rays over the time.  

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