Walther Bothe and Bruno Rossi: The birth and development of coincidence methods in cosmic-ray physics

  title={Walther Bothe and Bruno Rossi: The birth and development of coincidence methods in cosmic-ray physics},
  author={Luisa Bonolis},
  journal={American Journal of Physics},
  • L. Bonolis
  • Published 7 June 2011
  • Physics
  • American Journal of Physics
With the advent of the Geiger-Muller counter in the late 1920s, the nature of cosmic rays became accessible to exper- imentation. When used single as cosmic-ray detectors, these devices did not have significant advantages over ionization chambers. They became a powerful new tool for cosmic-ray experiments when used in coincidence arrangements. The coincidence technique, first used by Hans Geiger and Walther Bothe in 1924 to verify that Compton scattering produces a recoil electron… 

Figures from this paper

From cosmic ray physics to cosmic ray astronomy: Bruno Rossi and the opening of new windows on the universe
Bruno Rossi is considered one of the fathers of modern physics, being also a pioneer in virtually every aspect of what is today called high-energy astrophysics. At the beginning of 1930s he was the
International Scientific Cooperation During the 1930s. Bruno Rossi and the Development of the Status of Cosmic Rays into a Branch of Physics
A glimpse of the intersection between national and international dimensions during the 1930s is provided, at a time when the study of cosmic rays was still very much in its infancy, strongly interlaced with nuclear physics, and full of uncertain, contradictory, and puzzling results.
Photon-electron coincidence experiments at synchrotron radiation facilities with arbitrary bunch modes.
The adaptation of an electron-photon coincidence detection scheme to the multibunch hybrid mode of the synchrotron radiation source BESSY II (Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin) is reported, expecting this method to be a useful tool to extend the versatility of coincident particle detection to arbitrary operation modes ofsynchrotrons radiation facilities and other excitation sources without the need for additional experimental adjustments.
Theoretical formula for the cosmic-ray muon attenuation coefficients of Pb, Cu, Zn, and Al
ABSTRACT The attenuation coefficients of cosmic-ray muons through metal plates were theoretically determined. Three methods (A, B, and C) were proposed by the researchers using the experimental data
Lo spirito di Arcetri
On 7 November 1921, the new Institute of Physics of the Royal Institute of Higher, Practical and Advanced Studies of Florence was inaugurated in Arcetri. Three years later, with the establishment of
Investigation of Simple Portable Telescope Validity for Muon Detection Inside Metals
Muons produced in the atmosphere by cosmic rays are preferred over gamma rays, X-rays and fast protons for the detection of metals in the study of radiography. An alternative method for metals
Enrico Fermi’s Discovery of Neutron-Induced Artificial Radioactivity: A Case of “Emanation” from “Divine Providence”
We reconstruct Enrico Fermi’s remarkable discovery of neutron-induced radioactivity in March 1934 with a focus on the experimental apparatus he used, such as the original neutron sources preserved in
Trace element analysis based on neutron activation with coincident gamma ray detection
In this work, six soil samples have been analyzed. The samples come from different sedimentary layers on Earth. They were previously studied with the objective to find the trace concentration of
Electron Scattering Processes in Non-Monochromatic and Relativistically Intense Laser Fields
The theoretical analysis of four fundamental laser-assisted non-linear scattering processes are summarized in this review. Our attention is focused on Thomson, Compton, Møller and Mott scattering in
Investigating the Apparent Teleconnection between Cosmic-Ray Muon Flux over Jamaica and Large-Scale Climate Phenomena That Impact the Caribbean
The apparent teleconnection between cosmic-ray muon flux over a base point in the Caribbean is discussed against the background of an extensive record of indices representing large-scale climatic


Development of the cosmic ray techniques
It is pointed out that most advances of cosmic-ray physics have been directly related to the development of observational techniques. A review is presented of the history of the evolution of the
The Discovery of the Muon and the Failed Revolution against Quantum Electrodynamics
When was the muon discovered? According to G. Bernardini, “the mu meson as a peculiar ionizing fraction of the bulk of cosmic rays was revealed by an experiment by Bothe and Kolhcrster in 1929.”’
The early history of cosmic ray research
We review the prehistory and early history of cosmic ray studies, concentrating on the period 1900–1927. Following the discoveries of the electron and radioactivity just before the turn of the
Extensive Cosmic-Ray Showers
The soft group present at sea level is almost entirely because of the effects of mesotrons, that is, because of their decay electrons and their collision electrons. These electrons should then give
On Multiplicative Showers
This chapter describes the development and absorption of showers. In nuclear fields, gamma-rays produce pairs and electrons lose energy by radiation. The formulae that have been deduced from the
The Origin of the Cosmic Rays
Maximum energy released by atomic-disintegration (radioactivity.)—From Einstein's equation Mc2=E and Aston's curve the maximum possible energy that can be released in radioactive changes can be
Life of µ: The Observation of the Spontaneous decay of Mesotrons and its Consequences, 1938–1947
Summary The mesotrons, or mesons, were the first elementary particles observed to be inherently unstable. This essay offers a reconstruction of the stream of researches related to mesotron decay, and
The Passage of Fast Electrons and the Theory of Cosmic Showers
It is well known that according to relativistic quantum mechanics, electrons and positrons with energy large compared with their rest mass have a very large probability when passing through the field
Early days in cosmic rays
Early in 1928, shortly after receiving my PhD at the University of Bologna, I was offered the position of assistant at the Physics Institute of the University of Florence. The Institute rose among
New precision in cosmic ray measurements; Yielding extension of spectrum and indications of bands
Method of measurement of capacities of the order of one cm. — A method is described which leads to greatly increased precision in the measurement of capacities of the order of one electrostatic unit.