Acceleration of high-energy cosmic rays

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The transport and acceleration of galactic cosmic rays is discussed with emphasis on the highest energies. The mechanism of diffusive shock acceleration is shown to produce a near-universal spectrum which can account for most observed cosmic rays. A quasi-perpendicular shock in general accelerates particles faster and to higher energies than a comparable quasi-parallel shock. Application of these ideas to supernova blast waves suggests that they can produce galactic cosmic rays to the knee in the spectrum, some 3 × 10 15eV. A similar blast wave, recently identified near the galactic center could accelerate particles to an energy of some 1018ZeV or higher (hereinafter Z is the charge in units of the elementary charge). It is possible that the highest-energy cosmic rays could come from the galactic center. If this is the case, there should be an enhancement of the flux of high-energy cosmic rays coming from the galactic center.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-8
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the Physical Society of Japan
Volume77
Issue numberSUPPL. B
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Keywords

  • Acceleration
  • Cosmic rays
  • Galaxy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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