Cosmic Ray News Bulletin


Author: Frank C. Jones
Laboratory for High Energy Astrophysics, Code 665
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, Maryland 20771, USA
Tel: 1-301-286-5506
Fax: 1-301-286-1682
(Back Issues are available)


European Geophysical Society, 22nd General Assembly

The 22nd General Assembly of the European Geophysical Society will be held at the congress centre Austria Center Vienna, 21-25 April 1997. The Scientific Programme includes 150 Sessions encompassing Solid Earth Geophysics, Hydrology, Oceans & Atmosphere, Solar-Terrestrial and Planetary & Solar System Sciences, Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics as well as Natural Hazards.

Like in the previous years, all abstracts that meet the format and the deadline (15 December 1996) will be included free of charge in the journal Annales Geophysicae, Supplement Volume 15 and all contributions will be referenced in the EGS Newsletter Number 62.

Finally, we would like to draw your attention to the fact that the 23rd General Assembly will be held in Nice, France, from 20-24 April 1998.

Further information may be obtained at

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Durban ICRC Logo 25th International Cosmic Ray Conference, Durban, South Africa

The following communication has been received from the organizers along with some preliminary items from the forthcoming 2nd circular:

The Organizers plan to mail the 2nd circular on about 27 November. Thereafter, it will be put on the Web.
All preparations still go according to plan.
IUPAP sponsorship has been granted and this will mainly be used to support delegates from economically disadvantaged countries.
Abstract submission, registration and deposit payments can all be done electronically. The papers have to be submitted in hard copy however. The organisers draw attention to the fact that the submission date of 26 May is a very hard deadline; it allows for the shortest interval ever in which to get the proceedings printed.


15 February 1997 Deadline for receipt of abstracts
15 March 1996 Deadline for receipt of Pre- and post-conference workshops and meetings to be announced in Third Circular
15 April 1997 Notification of acceptance of abstracts and mailing of Third Circular with provisional programme
26 May 1997 Deadline for receipt of camera-ready contributed papers, Pre-registration & accommodation forms and fees, and deadline for reduced registration fee (or a paper submittal fee)
28 & 29 July 1997 Workshops and meetings
30 July 1997 Opening Ceremony
6 August 1997 Closing Ceremony
7 & 8 August 1997 Workshops and meetings


A new feature of the shortened conference format is to schedule workshops and extended meetings (more than 3 hours say) in the days prior to and after the conference. These pre- and post-conference workshops and meetings are intended to keep the evening programme as free and as relaxed as possible.

These workshops and meetings will be scheduled by the Conference Organisers in the conference hotel on the request of individuals or groups within the community. Three rooms, seating at least 50 participants each, can be made available for this purpose. The responsibility of the Conference Organisers will be limited to provide the venues, the audio/visual requirements, and refreshments during breaks.

Workshop organisers will be responsible for all other aspects, i.e. the workshop format, its programme, as well as all printing, promotion and communication.

We suggest that workshop and meeting organisers should choose the available workshop days in the following order of priority:

First choice: Tuesday 29 July
Second choice: Monday 28 July
Third choice: Thursday 7 August
Fourth choice: Friday 8 August

Potential workshop/meeting organisers should write to the Organising Committee as soon as possible, stating all details of their planned workshop/meeting, their requirements, as well as the estimated attendance.

The Conference Organisers will not impose a rigid deadline for the request and organisation of a workshop or a meeting. Potential organisers must keep in mind, however, that most delegates will want to finalise their travel plans and send in their registration forms by 26 May 1997. Therefore, we suggest that workshops should be announced in the Third Circular of 15 April 1997, in which case the practical deadline is 15 March 1997.

Progress with the organisation of workshops and meetings will be posted on the WWW page of the conference. Where available, links to WWW pages of workshops will be provided.

A satellite workshop of the 25th ICRC, that will not be held in the given timeslots, is the Kruger National Park Workshop on TeV Gamma-Ray Astrophysics. It will be held in the Kruger National Park from 8 to 11 August. All enquiries about this workshop must be addressed to O.C. de Jager at, and NOT to the NOC.

More information is available at the Conference Web Site.
The URL is

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Shakti P. Duggal Award

The Shakti P. Duggal Award was established in 1983 to recognise outstanding work by a young scientist in the field of cosmic ray physics. The award consists of a prize of $1200, to be presented at the 25th International Cosmic Ray Conference at Durban, July - August, 1997. In addition, the winner will be invited to present a colloquium at Bartol sometime during the following year.

The intent of this award is to recognise and inspire young cosmic ray scientists at an early stage of their careers. The recipient will not have attained the age of thirty-six on 1 January 1997. Subject to this limitation, any person from anywhere in the world who has contributed to the field of cosmic ray physics or astrophysics is eligible for consideration. Selection of the prize winner will be made by an international committee.

Nominations of potential recipients are now being solicited. Nominators are requested to send to the committee secretariat at the Bartol Research Institute their nominee's curriculum vitae and publication list, a supporting letter, and, if possible, copies of one or two of the candidate's most significant publications. The sponsor may also wish to ask one or two co-sponsors to send letters supporting the nomination.

Nominations should be sent to reach the address below not later than 1 February, 1997:

Duggal Award Committee
Bartol Research Institute
University of Delaware
Newark, DE 19716

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Erich Bagge (1912 - 1996)

Erich Bagge, one of the pioneers of cosmic ray research in Europe, died at the age of 84 on 5 June 1996. He is survived by his wife, Hertha, three daughters and 10 grandchildren. Bagge was Professor Emeritus at the Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Germany, where he had been a member of the faculty since 1957. After studying physics in Berlin and Munich he received his master's degree in Munich 1935. Since 1937 he worked with Werner Heisenberg and obtained his Ph.D. from the university of Leipzig. These were the "heroic" years of modern physics, when the simultaneous developments in quantum and nuclear physics, in elementary particles and cosmic rays stimulated each other. These early years initiated a strong interest in topical problems of physics and attempts to supply solutions to a fundamental problem which may have been overlooked so far. Bagge's "Introduction to atomic physics" treating the transition from classical to modern physics was among the classes which fascinated generations of students.

During World War II Bagge participated in the German "Uranium project". This work was followed after the war by an engagement for the peaceful use of nuclear energy. Bagge, who became associated professor at the University of Hamburg in 1948, was in particular involved in the usage of nuclear power for trading vessels, and he was the founder of the Society for the Usage of Nuclear Energy in Ship-Building and Seafare. The first German nuclear vessel, the "Otto Hahn", was launched in 1962. A research reactor was installed in Geesthacht near Hamburg at about the same time which has over the years formed into a center for materials research with neutrons.

The publications from the early years - 32 papers before 1950, most of them with Bagge as the only author - cover a wide range of topics, from the shell structure of atomic nuclei and the expansion of the universe to new experimental techniques and various applications of nuclear physics. As early as 1948, the acceleration of solar cosmic rays to energies up to tens of GeV was interpreted in terms of electric fields induced by magnetic field variations in suitable geometries close to sunspot areas.

It was never quite clear whether Erich Bagge was more interested in experimental or in theoretical physics. He could do both. Working with him meant to become exposed to the whole spectrum of detection techniques and instruments for nuclear physics and cosmic radiation. Of particular significance was the work with spark counters, starting in the years at Hamburg, and culminating in the development of the triggered spark counter which made its way from Kiel into many laboratories.

When he got a call as a founding director for the Institute for Pure and Applied Nuclear Physics at the University of Kiel in 1957 he had a chance to install guidelines for a modern research institute and to realize a large number of ideas which had formed in previous years. They were related to experimental and theoretical physics, fundamental and applied research. One application of nuclear physics was the carbon dating method. A laboratory for carbon 14 and mass spectroscopy lead to a variety of collaborations in archeology, geology, paleontology and climatology, with numerous researchers from inside and outside the university. Just recently this branch of the institute formed the basis for a newly founded laboratory for accelerator mass spectroscopy at Kiel.

Bagge's continuous activities in cosmic rays survived phases when experiments at the big machines took over most of the classical questions of high energy interactions, when high-energy astrophysics was not yet born and cosmic rays regarded as a somewhat remote and exotic part of astrophysics. These long lasting efforts turned out to be successful. The physics of energetic particles became one of the central activities of the institute. Cosmic rays were measured at various positions in the earth's atmosphere. A neutron monitor NM 64 was to become one of the very reliable units of the worldwide network. Cosmic ray components were studied at mountain altitudes and with instruments flown on balloons, one of the prerequisites for the later engagement in space physics. The Kiel extensive air shower experiment was based on neon hodoscopes and fast scintillators, with good spatial resolution and determination of arrival directions.

Long before Bagge reached his emeritus status in 1980 the Kiel institute had performed the transition to a system where independent divisions lead by his younger colleagues worked on high energy physics, nuclear track detectors, mathematical physics, carbon 14 dating, and extraterrestrial physics. To be open for new developments was one of the recipes for the success of the "Kiel group" and their participation in numerous activities. The air-shower instrumentation is part of the HEGRA high-energy gamma-ray facility on La Palma. Kiel participated in the discovery of the intermediate vector boson in the UA1 experiment at CERN and is involved in research at DESY/Hamburg. Nuclear track detectors were flown on the Spacelab and the MIR station. Data from the space projects Helios, Ulysses, and SOHO are used to study solar energetic particles and long-term modulation. Theoretical studies are performed on shower development in the atmosphere, particle diffusion and acceleration, structure of the galaxy, and processes in extremely high magnetic fields.

As long as his health allowed him to travel, Bagge participated in the International Cosmic Ray Conferences, starting with the famous Bagneres conference in 1953. He paid great attention to scientific relations with colleagues from Eastern Europe, in particular from Hungary, the former Soviet Union, and Poland, contacts which lead to quite a few exchange programs and collaborations. Erich Bagge was a sociable and convivial man. He and his wife Hertha kept an open house for colleagues, guests from abroad, students and friends. He was full of stories, about people, travels abroad, developments in various fields of physics. He was convinced of the large importance of science for society, and his ability to give a vivid account of new discoveries led to impressive public talks about fundamental and applied science. Among his decorations were the Bundesverdienstkreuz of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Order of the Rising Sun of Japan.

A long active life with a never ending effort to solve some of the mysteries of physics has come to an end. Erich Bagge's interests were shared between fundamental problems of theoretical physics, the development of new instruments in particle physics, and a variety of applications of nuclear physics. A large number of people were educated, influenced, supported by him. We will remember him for his wide range of research activities, for his ability to enthuse his students in modern physics and to support his scholars when they followed their own ideas and went their own way.

Gerd Wiberenz, University of Kiel

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Doraswamy Venkatesan

Doraswamy Venkatesan, professor emeritus in the Department of Physics and Astronomy passed away on Sept. 5 after a brief illness. He is survived by his wife Bharathi, son Shri, and daughters Deepa and Nandini as well as a brother and two sisters in India.

Venkatesan joined the University of Calgary in 1966 as an associate professor, and retired in 1990 as one of the most senior professors in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. He was educated in India at the Madras University and the Banaras Hindu University. He took his Ph.D. from the University of Gujarat as one of the early students of the Physical Research Laboratory in Ahmedabad. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm and the National Research Council in Ottawa prior to joining the University of Iowa in 1960. After leaving Iowa, he taught briefly at the University of Alberta before coming to the University of Calgary

Venkatesan's primary research interest was in cosmic rays, but it later became much broader to encompass all aspects of solar terrestrial relations. In addition to continuously monitoring cosmic rev intensity, he also conducted experiments in cosmic X-rays, auroral X-rays geomagnetic pulsations, and cosmic ray measurements in space.

Professor Venkatesan was well known for his collaborative research with scientists from many countries He has worked with such notable scientists as Vikram Sarabhai, Hannes Alven, Don Rose, Van Allen, and others He brought many of his colleagues from abroad to work with him in Calgary for extended periods. He organized many international conferences which brought many scientists to Calgary Through all of these efforts, Venkatesan did much to raise the profile of the University of Calgary as an internationally recognized research institution.

Equally notable was Venkatesan's interest in supporting and mentoring students. There was hardly a summer during the past 30 years when One or more students were not supported by his research grants. Many of the students went on to do research at the graduate level, completed their Ph.D. theses under his supervision or at other universities, and became prominent scientists. In recognition of his abiding interest in promoting physics education, a silver medallion is awarded annually at the spring convocation to the most outstanding; graduating student in physics.

Venkatesan's interests were not confined to science alone. He was passionately interested in Indian classical music and actively promoted it in Calgary. He also lectured on Hindu philosophy in the Department of Religious Studies Lesser known were his accomplishments as a playwright He wrote two plays based on themes from the Indian classics of Ramayana.

Venk, as he was affectionately known by many of his friends, has enriched life at the University of Calgary and in the larger community Despite his physical disability caused by a stroke several years ago, he continued his research until the very last A well-attended memorial service was held in the University Theatre on Sept. 14. Messages were received from colleagues, former students, and friends from around the world paying tribute to a remarkable human being. We, his friends and colleagues in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Faculty of Sciences, will miss him.

T. Mathews, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Calgary

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Jerzy Wdowczyk (1935- 1996)

Jerzy Wdowczyk, professor of physics in Lódz University (Poland) and a world - known cosmic ray physicist, died on 6 September 1996.

He was born to a forester family in a small village in the Great Poland. After finishing the Pedagogical High School in Krotoszyn, he had to teach different subjects in a primary school for 3 years. It was the Stalinist period in Poland then, not an easy time for teachers. His everlasting interest in history, not deformed by soviet ideology, has its roots in that time. Another of his passions, playing chess, started then as well and he won the chess championship for the district. Afterwards he went to Lódz to study physics and in 1960 earned a master degree (magister) from the Lódz University. He stayed in Lódz for the rest of his life, going through all the stages of an academic and research career. He joined the newly developing branch of physics in Lódz (the University there was founded just after the second World War) - the cosmic ray physics, led by Aleksander Zawadzki He was first involved in a study of muon poor extensive air showers and in 1964 received a Ph.D. (doctor of physics) for a thesis on the muon content in gamma - initiated showers. This problem became very popular again in the 80's when an extensive search for point cosmic ray sources began.

In 1965 J. Wdowczyk went for a year to Durham in the UK to work with Arnold Wolfendale and his group in Durham University. It was then that a long standing Lódz - Durham collaboration started and has been continuing up to now. His main interest at that time was the development of extensive air showers in the atmosphere In particular he worked out many methods of computer simulation of showers, used later widely by his collaborators and younger colleagues. He applied these methods to calculate fluctuations of the muon and electron densities on the observational level as a function of the mass of the primary particle. This work was based partly on results from the Lódz air shower array and done as well in a collaboration with other research groups (in particular , the cosmic ray groups in Verrière le Buisson near Paris and in the Moscow State University). He obtained for it a habilitation degree in 1972.

The anti Semitic purges of 1968, carried out by the ruling communist party in all political and cultural circles in Poland, forced Prof. Aleksander Zawadzki to stay abroad and from then on George (Jerzy in English) led the cosmic ray physics in Lódz. Through the 70's and 80's he worked mainly in the Institute for Nuclear Research (now the Soltan Institute for Nuclear Studies) having at times a part-time job in Lódz University, but closely collaborating with people there.

When R. Feynman proposed the famous scaling behaviour of the x-variable distribution in multiparticle production at high energies, George was one of the first: to check it in cosmic ray phenomena. It turned out soon, however, that the shower development in the atmosphere was substantially quicker than the predicted one by scaling. George proposed (together with A. W. Wolfendale) a scaling violation formula, based partly on the, then newly accumulating, accelerator data. This formula (often called the W-W model, from the first letters of its authors names) described a scaling violation, in the fragmentation region in particular, leading to a quicker dissipation of the primary particle energy on its way through the atmosphere. It has often been used by other air shower physicists.

At the International Cosmic Ray Conference in Munich (1975) he was the rapporteur for the extensive air shower branch. In 1976 and 1979 he was awarded prizes for his scientific work: the first- by the state Committee for Atomic Energy, the second - by The Polish Academy of Sciences (the prestigious Maria Curie-Sklodowska award).

The research done with the Durham group has broadened his interests to high energy astrophysics. Together with Arnold Wolfendale (who became his very close friend), with other members of the Durham group, and his collaborators in Lódz, he published many papers in an effort to throw light on the problem of cosmic ray origin. (As a result of this collaboration he was awarded in 1985 an honorary doctor degree by Durham University. In particular he advocated a three component cosmic ray energy spectrum, each component having a different origin and composition. The point was that the large fluctuations of air showers and an analyses of their arrival directions indicated that at an energy about 1015 eV and above a new, lighter component should take over in the cosmic ray flux. (The third component, above 1019 eV, has usually been believed to be of an extragalactic origin.) This hypothesis, however, needs further verification, a fact of which George was fully aware. Thus, he engaged himself and some of his colleagues in a collaboration with the Karlsruhe group in Germany, who have been striving to determine the cosmic ray composition in this energy region, by building a complex air shower array.

In the field of low energy cosmic rays he worked on their propagation in the Galaxy and the production of positrons, antiprotons and gamma rays by their interactions with the interstellar medium. He did a lot of work on the anisotropy and shower characteristics of high energy cosmic rays in his pursuit to solve the mystery of their origin and composition. As to the extragalactic cosmic rays, he showed that there were measurable consequences of their having extremely high energies (above 1020 eV) - interacting with the universal microwave background they would finally produce noticeable amounts of 1014 eV gamma rays. Thus, some models proposing that the highest energy cosmic rays are produced by topological defects have been disproved,

He was a good and devoted organiser and spent twelve years in the Cosmic Ray Commission of the IUPAP. Starting in 1981 he was there as member for six years, as Secretary for three years and finally as President in 1990-93. In 1992 he moved again to a full job in Lódz University as head of the Division of Experimental Physics. He devoted himself to education then, despite kits deteriorating health.

Up to his last days he tried not to give up to his illness. Last summer ('96) he organised two conferences in Lódz - one on cosmic ray composition, another being a Pamir Collaboration meeting. Of this collaboration, devoted to cosmic ray research by X-ray chambers at mountain altitudes, George was the Polish head for the last few years.

George was a passionate man. Whatever he did, he did with all his engagement, but his main passion was to built cosmic ray physics in Lódz. I hope that he succeeded. Many of us in the cosmic ray group in Lódz owe him a lot. I myself belong to those who owe him most.

He left his wife, Helen (a physicist as well), two daughters and a son.

Maria Giller

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Cormac O'Ceallaigh 1912-1996

Professor Cormac O'Ceallaigh died suddenly on 10 October 1996 at the age of 84. After completing undergraduate studies in Dublin he went to Paris in 1934 to work in the laboratory of Pierre Auger. Various positions followed, but his most creative period was when, from 1949 to 1953, he formed part of the Bristol group around C F Powell. His most important work was on the new strange particles which were just beginning to be found in cosmic ray interaction events, especially the K mesons.

In 1953 he was appointed head of the cosmic ray section in the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies as successor to Janossy who had returned to his native Hungary to establish the KFKI. He held this post until 1982 concentrating initially on emulsion work similar to that at Bristol, but then moving to the field of solid state track detectors.

A complicated and remarkable man he was fluent in several languages and a master of the art of polemical debate. Prickly, irascible and infuriating (behaviour perhaps partially explained by a difficult diabetic condition) he was also capable of great kindness and generosity. Those who had the fortune (or misfortune) to cross his path tended not to forget the experience and I am sure that many of the older generation will read this note with a sense of loss.

Luke O'C Drury, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies

Peter Fowler

Just as we were going to press with this edition of CosNews we received word of the death last week of Peter Fowler. A proper obituary for Peter will appear in the next issue.

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