- Conference date: 2–6 September 2012
- Location: São Sebastião, São Paulo, Brazil
Cosmic Rays (CR) have been studied since their discovery by Victor Hess in the years 1911-1913. Interestingly, research in Physics in Brazil started with experiments on CR. Bernhard Gross (INT/Rio), Gleb Wataghin and Giuseppe Occhialini (USP) carried out their investigations on CR in Brazil in the 30's. Franz X. Roser worked with V. Hess (Nobel Prize, 1936) and Cesar Lattes collaborated with Cecil Powell (Nobel Prize, 1950). Nowadays, most of CR research in Brazil is conducted by the Pierre Auger Project. Nevertheless, there is an enormous lack of information on the effects of CR in matter, particularly in organic and biological materials, which motivates measurements of relevant physicochemical data, such as parameters of crystalline structure modifications, sputtering yields and cross sections for inducing associative or dissociative processes of atoms, molecules and molecular fragments. A fascinating question about CR is whether they are/were one of the agents responsible for the transformation of inorganic into organic material, synthesizing pre-biotic molecules in the whole Universe. The physicochemical effects of CR analogues in condensed gases, analyzed by Mass Spectrometry and Infrared Spectroscopy - subject of our own work on CR - are discussed at the end of this article.
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