Cosmic ray physics in space: the role of Sergey Vernov's scientific school
21 Apr 2011
Skobeltsyn Institute of Nuclear Physics, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia
Abstract. Cosmic rays were discovered almost 100 years ago. Since then the scientific world has learned a lot from their nature: the particles nascent in the Universe, both in our Galaxy and outside, the basic mechanisms of their acceleration, transfer in the interstellar environment and the interaction of the primary cosmic rays with the atmosphere surrounding the Earth. Before 1957, i.e., the beginning of the Space Era, researchers' capabilities were limited to experiments performed on the ground, underground and in near-ground atmosphere to flight altitudes of aerostats, airplanes and rockets, i.e., where only secondary radiation is in existence, this is the result of the interaction of cosmic rays with the Earth's atmosphere. The launching of spacecraft allowed the scientists to commence exploring the Universe's primordial matter itself outside the atmosphere, i.e., the primary cosmic rays. Sergey Vernov, the Russian scientist, was among them.