Next time your smartphone or computer crashes, cosmic rays could be to blame.

A new theory suggests that radioactive particles from outer space can interfere with electrical circuits and cause them to fail, and could explain why smartphones, laptops and other devices sometimes crash with no obvious explanation.

Cosmic rays are highly energised particles that travel through space close to the speed of light. When these crash into the Earth’s atmosphere they shower the planet with ionised particles and electromagnetic radiation including protons, neutrons, electrons and gamma rays.

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