Birth cries of atoms

Robert Millikan (1868–1953) pursued the theory of birth cries of atoms for many years, to explain the origin of cosmic rays. According to the 'birth cry' theory, cosmic rays (now known to be fast-moving charged particles) were photons created by the generation of new atoms, and (in later modifications of the theory), the destruction of atoms as well. He investigated the energy distribution of cosmic rays, trying to establish a correspondence between the most common energies of cosmic rays and the atomic energies of the most common elements in the universe. Millikan considered his 'birth cry' theory natural theological evidence of the continual intervention of God, whose creation of new atoms balanced the increase in entropy due to the second law of thermodynamics.

The birth cry theory loosely shares the idea of continuous creation of matter with the steady state theory

There is presently observed another form of radiation which is technically a signal of the formation of the first atoms in the universe. The cosmic microwave background radiation was recognized after its discovery in the 1960s to be the remnant of the decoupling of atoms from photons which freely streamed after the surface of last scattering.

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