¨ 1. Historical background
Cosmic Ray research in
Brazil began in the
early thirties, when the authorities
of the State of São Paulo convinced a group of European scientists to come to Brazil to implement the University
of São Paulo (USP). Levi-Strauss, Stammreich, Albanese, Fantappiè, Giuseppe Occhialini,
and Gleb Wataghin (born in Russia but working in Italy) were among those pioneers. Soon after arriving in Brazil, with his enthusiasm and his cordiality, he rapidly
formed a group of selected students. Among them were Marcelo Damy de Souza Santos,
Paulus Aulus Pompeia, Mário Schenberg,
Cesare Mansueto Giulio Lattes
In the 60's, the Government of the State of São Paulo decided
to create its second State University, at Campinas (UNICAMP).
Prof. Zeferino Vaz, educator and scientist (Medical Sciences), was designated for that hard job.
He used to repeat that the three priorities of the new-born University should be: brains, brains and brains.
In 1967, he invited Prof. Lattes, then at the Institute of Physics of the University of São Paulo, to start the researches in Physics at UNICAMP, cooperating with Marcelo Damy de Souza Santos in the foundation of the Institute, that a few years latter was named Gleb Wataghin Physics Institute
Scientific activities of the Department of Cosmic Rays and Chronology
(DRCC) began in 1967, with the arrival of Prof. C.M.G. Lattes. Together with Cecil Powell, he had been one of the key persons in the discovery of the pion 20 years before, and moved to this town,
Campinas, with the group that was working with him at the University of São Paulo (see also Lattes' description of the discovery of the pion).
At those times the activities at the
DRCC were: geochronology (using micas for dating purposes)
and emulsion chamber experiment, in collaboration with Centro Brasileiro de Pesquisas Físicas (CBPF) and several
Japanese universities (mainly Waseda
University and University of Tokyo )
operating an huge emulsion chamber on Mount Chacaltaya, at 5,220m a.s.l.,
near La Paz,
¨ 3. More information
Cosmic Ray Physicists present their scientific results at the
International Cosmic Ray Conferences, held each two years (an unbroken series started in 1946), under
the auspices of the IUPAP (International Union of Pure and Applied Physics). The last ICRC was held in Salt Lake City (Utah, USA), from August 17th to 25th, 1999, and the next will be held in Hamburg, Germany, in 2001.
Another important international meeting in this area is the International Symposium on Very High Energy Cosmic Ray Interactions. The XI ISVHECRI (its homepage is still available) was hosted by this Department, from July 17th to July 21st, 2000. Papers presented at the XI ISVHECRI will appear in Nuclear Physics B, Proc. Supp.
Details about the scientific production of the Department nowadays are
found also in the
Research Reports of the Institute (HTML, 1997, they have only the Portuguese version available at the moment).
Recent news about the Cosmic Ray community are found in the Cosmic Ray News Bulletin (CosNews), now published only electronically under the responsibility
of the Commission
on Cosmic Rays of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics.
A very extensive list of Cosmic Ray Research Groups around the
world is found at the Max-Planck-Institute
für Kernphysik , in Heidelberg.