The ratio of the fluxes of secondary and primary nuclei in cosmic rays has long been used as an indicator of the grammage traversed in the journey of cosmic ray particles throughout the Galaxy. The basic idea is that primary particles are accelerated in astrophysical sources, such as supernova remnant shocks and eventually propagate in the Galactic volume, occasionally interacting with gas, mainly in the disc of the Galaxy, and there they produce secondary nuclei through spallation. At sufficiently high energy, typically greater than or similar to 100 GeV/n, the ratio of fluxes of the secondary nucleus to that of the main primary nucleus is found to scale as E-k(-delta), where E-k is the energy per nucleon ( a conserved quantity in spallation reactions) and delta identifies the energy dependence of the diffusion coefficient. The same shock waves that may be responsible for cosmic ray acceleration in the first place also pick up any other charged particle in the upstream, provided being above threshold for injection. The secondary nuclei produced by spallation in the interstellar medium are no exception, hence they also get accelerated. This effect is unavoidable, only its strength may be subject of debate. We compute the spectrum of secondary elements such as boron and lithium taking into account shock reacceleration and compare our predictions with the recent observations of the B/C ratio and preliminary measurements of the boron and lithium flux. Both these sets of data seem to confirm that reacceleration of secondary nuclei indeed plays an important role, thereby affecting the validity of those scaling rules that are often used in cosmic ray physics.

On the spectrum of stable secondary nuclei in cosmic rays

Blasi P
2017

Abstract

The ratio of the fluxes of secondary and primary nuclei in cosmic rays has long been used as an indicator of the grammage traversed in the journey of cosmic ray particles throughout the Galaxy. The basic idea is that primary particles are accelerated in astrophysical sources, such as supernova remnant shocks and eventually propagate in the Galactic volume, occasionally interacting with gas, mainly in the disc of the Galaxy, and there they produce secondary nuclei through spallation. At sufficiently high energy, typically greater than or similar to 100 GeV/n, the ratio of fluxes of the secondary nucleus to that of the main primary nucleus is found to scale as E-k(-delta), where E-k is the energy per nucleon ( a conserved quantity in spallation reactions) and delta identifies the energy dependence of the diffusion coefficient. The same shock waves that may be responsible for cosmic ray acceleration in the first place also pick up any other charged particle in the upstream, provided being above threshold for injection. The secondary nuclei produced by spallation in the interstellar medium are no exception, hence they also get accelerated. This effect is unavoidable, only its strength may be subject of debate. We compute the spectrum of secondary elements such as boron and lithium taking into account shock reacceleration and compare our predictions with the recent observations of the B/C ratio and preliminary measurements of the boron and lithium flux. Both these sets of data seem to confirm that reacceleration of secondary nuclei indeed plays an important role, thereby affecting the validity of those scaling rules that are often used in cosmic ray physics.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12571/387
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