Tesla defined true cosmic rays as an entrant light-like effluve having incredible penetrating power. These were in no way similar to the conventional cosmic rays detected by Gockel (1910), Hess (1912), Kohlhorster (1913) or Robert Millikan (1925). Tesla viewed his discovery of these light-like effluves as holding the only promise for energy application. According to Tesla, the energy of these effluves greatly exceeded those of cosmic ray “particles”.
When Moray read these ideas, he seemed to find a piece of the puzzle, which so eluded explanation. Another researcher, a contemporary of Tesla, succeeded in advancing the “external bombardment” theory of radioactivity with new experimental proofs. Dr. Gustav Le Bon, a Belgian physicist, examined and compared ultraviolet rays and radioactive energies with great fascination. Concluding from experiments that energetic bombardments were directly responsible for radioactivity, he was able to perform manipulations of the same. He succeeded in diminishing the radioactive output of certain materials by simple physical treatments. Heating measurably slowed the radioactive decay of radium chloride, a thing considered implausible by physicists.
In each case, Le Bon raised the radium temperature until it glowed red-hot. The same retardation of emanations were observed. He found it possible to isolate the agent, which was actually radioactive in the radium lattice, a glowing gaseous “emanation” which could be condensed in liquid air. Radium was thereafter itself de-natured. Being exposed to the external influence of bombarding rays, the radium again became active. The apparent reactivation of radium after heating required twenty days before reaching its maximum value.
Dr. Le Bon was utterly dumbfounded when; forcing theory into fact, other colleagues announced the “immutability of radioactive decay”. He also perceived where their erroneous logic would ultimately lead when they cited “internal instability” as the source of radioactivity. Separating themselves once more from the external world of energy, they would lose more than they imagined themselves gaining.
Le Bon disagreed when physicists began isolating the heavy metals as “the only radioactive elements. He had already distinctly demonstrated for them that “all matter was to a degree radioactive”. He was first to write books on the conversion of ordinary matter into rays, an activity he claimed was constant. He showed that this flux from ordinary matter could be measured. Le Bon stated that the reason why all matter was spontaneously emanating rays was not because they were contaminated with heavy radioactive elements. Ordinary matter was disintegrating into rays because it was being bombarded by external rays of a peculiar variety.
The external source continually bombarded matter, producing a continual energetic release, “an effulgence” of energy. Because the energetic disintegrations of matter occurred under focused sunlight, he first cited a special photoelectric effect. But, judging that nuclei were actually disintegrating in this process, he saw the need for a new and “extended” photoelectric effect. Matter disintegration and conversion into energy were both described in several treatises written by Dr. Le Bon thereafter. He described matter conversion processes, which may only be termed “photonuclear” in effect. He suggested that photonuclear reactions take place in all solar irradiated matter. Light itself could convert ordinary matter into pure energy. Exposure to focused sunlight could demonstrably convert certain light metals into “energetic emanations”.
He traced the actual portion of the solar spectrum which first manifested this matter-converting ability, isolating it in the deep ultraviolet bands. In these experimental arrangements, full focused sunlight fell on metal plates with their remarkable electrostatic radioactivity the result. But, the natural process of radioactivity in all materials proceeded without help from experimenters. What portion of the solar spectrum existed which could continually bombard matter and produce the observed radioactivity of all metals?
Le Bon stated that there were invisible and highly permeating solar spectra whose power could pierce buildings. They existed beyond the light rays, beyond the deep ultraviolet. Through the use of special sensitive emulsions, he demonstrated the unique identity of the mysterious rays. Dr. Le Bon showed that he could take photographs of outdoor scenes right through laboratory walls. He distinguished them from ordinary infrared rays. “Dark light” he called it, identifying it with Reichenbach’s Od luminescence. “Dark light” was a part of the solar spectrum, which could sufficiently penetrate all matter and disintegrate it.
Radioactivity was a very slow process. Elements were not being consumed every day in a rapid, uncontrolled process of dissolution. The tremendous amounts of released energy did not measurably diminish the mass of any source metal. Why was the radioactive process so very slow and moderate? What natural condition moderated the otherwise annihilating matter-dissolving process?
In Dr. Le Bon’s thesis, the photonuclear reaction involved a special “coupling action” which naturally existed between element and ray. Each element responded to a specific light energy series. Whenever the proper ray struck near the specific element, there was a disintegration “reaction”. It was not necessary for the ray to strike the element dead-center. The mere proximity of the ray to an atom of the element was sufficient to stimulate atomic disintegration.
Disintegrated atoms could produce very distinct products of particles, forces, and rays. These products and the nature of the radioactive disintegration was determined by the element used and its specific range of resonant rays. One could design a reaction by appropriately arranging elements and rays. Not every ray, which struck near an element, could provoke the photonuclear reaction. Specific rays and specific elements were necessarily brought together before the reaction could begin. A “fortunate providence”. Furthermore, that this bombardment was a true reaction and not just a simple collision became clear by experiment.
According to Le Bon, the intensity of the bombarding rays was not important. When deep ultraviolet rays couple with the proper “resonant” element, showers of identical rays were liberated. The photonuclear reaction was a high-yield electron reaction. Careful theoretical survey of the photonuclear reaction reveals its activity to be a high yield electron reaction. Proper entrant photons from space observably stimulate electron cascades in specific materials. Each photon was capable of stimulating the emission of countless others in a chain reaction which completely swept through the material.
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