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Journal Article

Cosmic ray production in supernova remnants including reacceleration: The secondary to primary ratio


Völk,  H.J.
Prof. Heinrich J. Völk, Emeriti, MPI for Nuclear Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Berezhko, E., Ksenofontov, L., Ptuskin, V., Zirakashvili, V., & Völk, H. (2003). Cosmic ray production in supernova remnants including reacceleration: The secondary to primary ratio. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 410(1), 189-198. doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20031274.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0011-8DF4-0
We study the production of cosmic rays (CRs) in supernova remnants (SNRs), including the reacceleration of background galactic cosmic rays (GCRs) - thus refining the early considerations by Blandford & Ostriker (1980) and Wandel et al. (1987) - and the effects of the nuclear spallation inside the sources (the SNRs). This combines for the first time nuclear spallation inside CR sources and in the diffuse interstellar medium, as well as reacceleration, with the injection and subsequent acceleration of suprathermal particles from the postshock thermal pool. Selfconsistent CR spectra are calculated on the basis of the nonlinear kinetic model. It is shown that GCR reacceleration and CR spallation produce a measurable effect at high energies, especially in the secondary to primary (s/p) ratio, making its energy-dependence substantially flatter than predicted by the standard model. Quantitatively, the effect depends strongly upon the density of the surrounding circumstellar matter. GCR reacceleration dominates secondary CR production for a low circumstellar density. It increases the expected s/p ratio substantially and flattens its spectrum to an almost energy-independent form for energies larger than 100 GeV/n if the supernovae explode on average into a hot dilute medium with hydrogen number density NH=0.003 cm-3. The contribution of CR spallation inside SNRs to the s/p ratio increases with increasing circumstellar density and becomes dominant for N_H>~ 1 cm-3, leading at high energies to a flat s/p ratio which is only by a factor of three lower than in the case of the hot medium. Measurements of the boron to carbon ratio at energies above 100 GeV/n could be used in comparison with the values predicted here as a consistency test for the supernova origin of the GCRs.