We use a kinetic-equation approach to describe the propagation of ultra high energy cosmic ray protons and nuclei and calculate the expected spectra and mass composition at the Earth for different assumptions on the source injection spectra and chemical abundances. When compared with the spectrum, the elongation rate X-max (E) and dispersion sigma(X-max) as observed with the Pierre Auger Observatory, several important consequences can be drawn: a) the injection spectra of nuclei must be very hard, similar to E-gamma with gamma similar to 1-1.6; b) the maximum energy of nuclei of charge Z in the sources must be similar to 5Z x 10(18) eV, thereby not requiring acceleration to extremely high energies; c) the fit to the Auger spectrum can be obtained only at the price of adding an ad hoc light extragalactic component with a steep injection spectrum (similar to E-2.7). In this sense, at the ankle (E-A approximate to 5 x 10(18) eV) all the components are of extragalactic origin, thereby suggesting that the transition from Galactic to extragalactic cosmic rays occurs below the ankle. Interestingly, the additional light extragalactic component postulated above compares well, in terms of spectrum and normalization, with the one recently measured by KASCADE-Grande.

Ultra high energy cosmic rays: implications of Auger data for source spectra and chemical composition

Aloisio R;Blasi P
2014

Abstract

We use a kinetic-equation approach to describe the propagation of ultra high energy cosmic ray protons and nuclei and calculate the expected spectra and mass composition at the Earth for different assumptions on the source injection spectra and chemical abundances. When compared with the spectrum, the elongation rate X-max (E) and dispersion sigma(X-max) as observed with the Pierre Auger Observatory, several important consequences can be drawn: a) the injection spectra of nuclei must be very hard, similar to E-gamma with gamma similar to 1-1.6; b) the maximum energy of nuclei of charge Z in the sources must be similar to 5Z x 10(18) eV, thereby not requiring acceleration to extremely high energies; c) the fit to the Auger spectrum can be obtained only at the price of adding an ad hoc light extragalactic component with a steep injection spectrum (similar to E-2.7). In this sense, at the ankle (E-A approximate to 5 x 10(18) eV) all the components are of extragalactic origin, thereby suggesting that the transition from Galactic to extragalactic cosmic rays occurs below the ankle. Interestingly, the additional light extragalactic component postulated above compares well, in terms of spectrum and normalization, with the one recently measured by KASCADE-Grande.
cosmic ray theory, cosmic ray experiments, cosmic rays detectors
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12571/2872
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