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cosmic ray

noun, Physics.
a radiation of high penetrating power that originates in outer space and consists partly of high-energy atomic nuclei.
Origin of cosmic ray
An Americanism dating back to 1920-25 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for cosmic ray
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • At the end of the second day after their trouble with the cosmic ray field, they stopped for observation.

    Islands of Space John W Campbell
  • Arcot shot out a cosmic ray himself, and swept the Thessian with it thoroughly.

    Invaders from the Infinite

    John Wood Campbell
  • It is made of cosmic ray photons, as lux is made of light photons, but the inexpressibly tighter bond makes the strength enormous.

    Invaders from the Infinite

    John Wood Campbell
  • The X-ray is high on the scale and even the cosmic ray is far above its lower limit of detection.

    The Solar Magnet Sterner St. Paul Meek
  • It was relux, and he knew it, but he knew what would happen when that cosmic ray hit it.

    Invaders from the Infinite

    John Wood Campbell
  • The W-ray was the Millikan cosmic ray, imprisoned and adapted for human use.

cosmic ray in Science
cosmic ray  
A ray of radiation of extraterrestrial origin, consisting of one or more charged particles such as protons, alpha particles, and larger atomic nuclei. Cosmic rays entering the atmosphere collide with atoms, producing secondary radiation, such as pions, muons, electrons, and gamma rays. Cosmic rays (and secondary radiation) can be easily seen in a cloud chamber.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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