a radiation of high penetrating power that originates in outer space and consists partly of high-energy atomic nuclei.
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Origin of cosmic ray
An Americanism dating back to 1920–25
Words nearby cosmic ray
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
Example sentences from the Web for cosmic ray
And he pointed to the cosmic-ray skiagraph of the Moon on the curved glass dome overhead.
Scientific definitions for 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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.