Question
The intensity of cosmic ray radiation decreases rapidly with increasing energy, but there are occasionally extremely energetic cosmic rays that create a shower of radiation from all the particles they create by striking a nucleus in the atmosphere as seen in the figure given below. Suppose a cosmic ray particle having an energy of $10^{10}\textrm{ GeV}$ converts its energy into particles with masses averaging $200 \textrm{ MeV/c}^2$. (a) How many particles are created? (b) If the particles rain down on a $1.00 \textrm{ km}^2$ area, how many particles are there per square meter? Figure 33.27 An extremely energetic cosmic ray creates a shower of particles on earth. The energy of these rare cosmic rays can approach a joule (about 10^10 GeV ) and, after multiple collisions, huge numbers of particles are created from this energy. Cosmic ray showers have been observed to extend over many square kilometers.
1. $5\times 10^{10} \textrm{ particles}$
2. $50000 \textrm{ particles / m}^2$

# OpenStax College Physics for AP® Courses, Chapter 33, Problem 43 (Problems & Exercises)  In order to watch this solution you need to have a subscription.

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