Seven seasons after the College’s
Big Ten football team dissolved, Stagg Field was still being used,
albeit for academic pursuits. This Cosmic Radiation Research Group
balloon launch took place in October 1946 as cosmic-ray experimentation,
which studies the energetic space particles that filter through
Earth’s atmosphere, reemerged from a World War II hiatus.
The balloons carried detectors to transmit radio signals for each
cosmic ray “hit” at different altitudes. Researchers
were interested in the nature and origin of the cosmic ray and its
interactions with matter.
Cosmic rays still intrigue scientists,
who have found applications to foundational particle theory and
nuclear weapons detectors.—S.I.A.
Courtesy Specail Collections Research Center