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Durham University

Department of Physics

Staff profile

Publication details for Prof Sir Arnold Wolfendale

Wibig, T & Wolfendale, AW (2004). Cosmic rays and cosmology. Nuclear Physics B-proceedings Supplements 136: 179-184.
  • Publication type: Journal Article
  • ISSN/ISBN: 0920-5632
  • Keywords: SPECTRAL CHANGES; ENERGY-SPECTRUM; COMPONENT; ORIGIN

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

An analysis is given of several aspects of the relationship between
Cosmic Rays and Cosmology. These include the possibility of foreground
effects on the CMB due to CR interactions in various locations. The
form of the fractional energy loss rate of protons and iron nuclei
propagating through the various radiation fields is examined and the
importance of the infra-red radiation field in certain cosmic ray
production scenarios is stressed.
All the available measurements of the energy spectrum of the highest
energy particles are taken and a best-estimate is derived. Comparison
is made with predictions for alternative assumptions about the origin
and nature of the primary particles. It is concluded that there is no
need to involve exotic mechanisms for the particles beyond the 'GZK
cut-offs'; indeed, it is claimed that with a sufficiently hard
production spectrum a 'cut-off'- is not expected. In fact, it is
maintained that the term 'cut-off' is a misnomer. This is not to say
that there is no interest in the particles of the very highest
energies; there is - the mechanisms whereby these particles attain
their energies is a great mystery.