van allen belt

Cultural Dictionary

Van Allen belt definition


Either of two layers of electrically charged (see electrical charge) particles held in orbits above the atmosphere by the magnetic field of the Earth. The belt is named after its discoverer, the twentieth-century American physicist James Van Allen.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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