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Durham University

Department of Physics

Staff profile

Publication details for Prof Sir Arnold Wolfendale

Erlykin, AD & Wolfendale, AW (2001). Models for the origin of the knee in the cosmic-ray spectrum. Advances in Space Research 27(4): 803-812.
  • Publication type: Journal Article
  • ISSN/ISBN: 0273-1177

Author(s) from Durham


A sudden steepening of the cosmic-ray energy spectrum ( the knee) is
observed at an energy of about 3 PeV (1 peV = 10(15)eV). The
experimental study of the PeV cosmic rays has intensified greatly
during the last 3 years. The recent results on extensive air showers
allow us to conclude that: a) the knee has an astrophysical origin; b)
the 'sharpness' and the fine structure of the knee rule out 'Galactic
Modulation' as the origin of the knee; c) most likely the knee is the
result of the explosion of a single, recent, nearby supernova.