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A Study of Heavy Trans-Iron Primary Cosmic Rays (Z More than or Equal to 55) with a Fast Film Cerenkov DetectorThe detection and measurement of the cosmic ray charge spectrum for nuclei heavier than iron (Fe, Z = 26) are discussed. These trans-iron nuclei are of great interest for several reasons. They promise to be one of the more sensitive clocks for use in determining the age of cosmic rays. The discovery of radioactive nuclides and their decay products in the primary flux, will allow an estimation of the elapsed time since these cosmic rays were synthesized. In addition, the relatively short interaction length of the very heavy trans-iron particles makes their relative abundance a source of information regarding the amount of interstellar matter that they had to traverse to reach the earth. A study of the trans-iron cosmic rays may provide clues as to the very processes of nucleosyntheses by which the bulk of the trans-iron nuclei in the universe are produced. This in turn may shed light on the mechanics of the supernova, which is postulated to be the major source of all cosmic rays. Finally, trans-iron cosmic ray experiments may demonstrate the existence of the recently postulated super-heavy nuclei.
Document ID
Document Type
Pinsky, L. S.
(NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
September 2, 2013
Publication Date
November 1, 1972
Subject Category
Space Radiation
Report/Patent Number
Accession Number
Funding Number(s)
PROJECT: RTOP 951-16-00-00-72
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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