The Centenary of the Discovery of Cosmic Rays: the End of the Beginning

Cosmic rays (detail) Photograph of cosmic rays (detail) taken by Patrick Blackett (1946).

History of Science lecture by Sir Arnold Wolfendale FRS.

Event details

Sir Arnold Wolfendale FRS is Emeritus Professor of Physics at the University of Durham, and former Astronomer Royal.

In 1912, Victor Hess embarked on a perilous balloon ascent and discovered the 'Cosmic Radiation', actually a beam of atomic particles. Whole areas of science were stimulated by the discovery, although it must be said that we're still not quite sure where they are coming from. This lecture will discuss the discovery of cosmic rays, its implications, Britain's role and where we go from here.

Attending this event

This event is free to attend and open to all. No tickets are required. Doors open at 12:30pm and seats will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. Recorded audio will be available on this page a few days afterwards.

Enquiries: Contact the events team.

The Centenary of the Discovery of Cosmic Rays: the End of the Beginning 6-9 Carlton House Terrace London SW1Y 5AG UK

Events coming up

  • The interaction of fire and mankind 14 September 2015 at The Royal Society, London Scientific discussion meeting organised by Professor Andrew Scott, Professor William Chaloner FRS, Professor Claire Belcher and Dr Chris Roos
  • The interaction of fire and mankind - further discussion 16 September 2015 at The Royal Society at Chicheley Hall, home of the Kavli Royal Society International Centre, Buckinghamshire Scientific discussion meeting organised by Professor Andrew Scott, Professor William Chaloner FRS, Dr Claire Belcher and Professor Chris Roos
  • Open House Weekend 2015 19 September 2015 at The Royal Society, London The Royal Society's building will be open to the public on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 September 2015.

For more events please see the events diary.