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Electrons and Positrons in Cosmic Rays  [PDF]
A. D. Panov
Physics , 2013, DOI: 10.1088/1742-6596/409/1/012004
Abstract: This review concentrates on the results obtained, over the last ten years, on the astrophysics of high-energy cosmic ray electrons and positrons. The anomalies, observed in the data of recent experiments (possible bump in the electron spectrum and the PAMELA anomaly in the positron fraction) are discussed through the systematic use of simple analytical solutions of the transport equations for cosmic ray electrons. Three main ways of explaining the origin of the anomalies are considered: the conservative way supposing the positrons to be pure secondary particles; the nearby sources like pulsars origin; and the dark matter origin. This review discusses, also, the inability to select the pulsars model or the dark matter model to explain the electron anomalies on the basis of the electron spectra with the usual large energy binning ($\gtrsim15%$). It is argued that the signature of nearby pulsars origin of the anomalies against the dark matter origin could be the fine structure of the cosmic ray electron spectrum predicted in the Malyshev et al. paper (2009) and which was observed in the data from the high-resolution ATIC experiment (2009-2011). To date, the high-resolution ATIC data was the only experimental result of this type published in the literature. Therefore, they should be tested by other experiments as soon as possible. Generally, there is, also, rather controversial situations between the data of the majority of recent experiments and, consequently, there is a noted urgent need for new high-precision and high-statistical experiments.
Bremsstrahlung Energy Losses for Cosmic Ray Electrons and Positrons  [PDF]
A. Widom,J. Swain,R. Srivastava
Physics , 2015,
Abstract: Recently cosmic ray electrons and positrons, i.e. cosmic ray charged leptons, have been observed. To understand the distances from our solar system to the sources of such lepton cosmic rays, it is important to understand energy losses from cosmic electrodynamic fields. Energy losses for ultra-relativistic electrons and/or positrons due to classical electrodynamic bremsstrahlung are computed. The energy losses considered are (i) due to Thompson scattering from fluctuating electromagnetic fields in the background cosmic thermal black body radiation and (ii) due to the synchrotron radiation losses from quasi-static domains of cosmic magnetic fields. For distances to sources of galactic length proportions, the lepton cosmic ray energy must be lass than about a TeV.
Galactic Streams of Cosmic-ray Electrons and Positrons  [PDF]
Matthew D. Kistler,Hasan Yuksel,Alexander Friedland
Physics , 2012,
Abstract: Isotropy is a key assumption in many models of cosmic-ray electrons and positrons. We find that simulation results imply a critical energy of ~10-1000 GeV above which electrons and positrons can spend their entire lives in streams threading magnetic fields, due to energy losses. This would restrict the number of electron/positron sources contributing at Earth, likely leading to smooth electron and positron spectra, as is observed. For positrons, this could be as few as one, with an enhanced flux that would ease energetics concerns of a pulsar origin of the positron excess, or even zero, bringing dark matter into play. We conclude that ideas about electron/positron propagation based on either isotropic diffusion or turbulent fields must be changed.
Production and propagation of cosmic-ray positrons and electrons  [PDF]
I. V. Moskalenko,A. W. Strong
Physics , 1997, DOI: 10.1086/305152
Abstract: We have made a new calculation of the cosmic-ray secondary positron spectrum using a diffusive halo model for Galactic cosmic-ray propagation. The code computes self-consistently the spectra of primary and secondary nucleons, primary electrons, and secondary positrons and electrons. The models are first adjusted to agree with the observed cosmic-ray Boron/Carbon ratio, and the interstellar proton and Helium spectra are then computed; these spectra are used to obtain the source function for the secondary positrons/electrons which are finally propagated with the same model parameters. The primary electron spectrum is evaluated, again using the same model. Fragmentation and energy losses are computed using realistic distributions for the interstellar gas and radiation fields, and diffusive reacceleration is also incorporated. Our study includes a critical re-evaluation of the secondary decay calculation for positrons. The predicted positron fraction is in good agreement with the measurements up to 10 GeV, beyond which the observed flux is higher than that calculated. Since the positron fraction is now accurately measured in the 1-10 GeV range our primary electron spectrum should be a good estimate of the true interstellar spectrum in this range, of interest for gamma ray and solar modulation studies. We further show that a harder interstellar nucleon spectrum, similar to that suggested to explain EGRET diffuse Galactic gamma ray observations above 1 GeV, can reproduce the positron observations above 10 GeV without requiring a primary positron component.
Cosmic-Ray Positrons: Are There Primary Sources?  [PDF]
Stephane Coutu,Steven W. Barwick,James J. Beatty,Amit Bhattacharyya,Chuck R. Bower,Christopher J. Chaput,Georgia A. de Nolfo,Michael A. DuVernois,Allan Labrador,Shawn P. McKee,Dietrich Muller,James A. Musser,Scott L. Nutter,Eric Schneider,Simon P. Swordy,Gregory Tarle,Andrew D. Tomasch,Eric Torbet
Physics , 1999, DOI: 10.1016/S0927-6505(99)00011-0
Abstract: Cosmic rays at the Earth include a secondary component originating in collisions of primary particles with the diffuse interstellar gas. The secondary cosmic rays are relatively rare but carry important information on the Galactic propagation of the primary particles. The secondary component includes a small fraction of antimatter particles, positrons and antiprotons. In addition, positrons and antiprotons may also come from unusual sources and possibly provide insight into new physics. For instance, the annihilation of heavy supersymmetric dark matter particles within the Galactic halo could lead to positrons or antiprotons with distinctive energy signatures. With the High-Energy Antimatter Telescope (HEAT) balloon-borne instrument, we have measured the abundances of positrons and electrons at energies between 1 and 50 GeV. The data suggest that indeed a small additional antimatter component may be present that cannot be explained by a purely secondary production mechanism. Here we describe the signature of the effect and discuss its possible origin.
Pulsars as the Sources of High Energy Cosmic Ray Positrons
Hooper, Dan;Blasi, Pasquale;Serpico, Pasquale Dario
High Energy Physics - Phenomenology , 2008, DOI: 10.1088/1475-7516/2009/01/025
Abstract: Recent results from the PAMELA satellite indicate the presence of a large flux of positrons (relative to electrons) in the cosmic ray spectrum between approximately 10 and 100 GeV. As annihilating dark matter particles in many models are predicted to contribute to the cosmic ray positron spectrum in this energy range, a great deal of interest has resulted from this observation. Here, we consider pulsars (rapidly spinning, magnetized neutron stars) as an alternative source of this signal. After calculating the contribution to the cosmic ray positron and electron spectra from pulsars, we find that the spectrum observed by PAMELA could plausibly originate from such sources. In particular, a significant contribution is expected from the sum of all mature pulsars throughout the Milky Way, as well as from the most nearby mature pulsars (such as Geminga and B0656+14). The signal from nearby pulsars is expected to generate a small but significant dipole anisotropy in the cosmic ray electron spectrum, potentially providing a method by which the Fermi gamma-ray space telescope would be capable of discriminating between the pulsar and dark matter origins of the observed high energy positrons.
The Energy Spectra and Relative Abundances of Electrons and Positrons in the Galactic Cosmic Radiation  [PDF]
S. W. Barwick,J. J. Beatty,C. R. Bower,C. J. Chaput,S. Coutu,G. A. de Nolfo,M. A. DuVernois,D. Ellithorpe,D. Ficenec,J. Knapp,D. M. Lowder,S. McKee,D. Muller,J. A. Musser,S. L. Nutter,E. Schneider,S. P. Swordy,G. Tarle,A. D. Tomasch,E. Torbet
Physics , 1997, DOI: 10.1086/305573
Abstract: Observations of cosmic-ray electrons and positrons have been made with a new balloon-borne detector, HEAT (the "High-Energy Antimatter Telescope"), first flown in 1994 May from Fort Sumner, NM. We describe the instrumental approach and the data analysis procedures, and we present results from this flight. The measurement has provided a new determination of the individual energy spectra of electrons and positrons from 5 GeV to about 50 GeV, and of the combined "all-electron" intensity (e+ + e-) up to about 100 GeV. The single power-law spectral indices for electrons and positrons are alpha = 3.09 +/- 0.08 and 3.3 +/- 0.2, respectively. We find that a contribution from primary sources to the positron intensity in this energy region, if it exists, must be quite small.
New Constraints on the Highest-Energy Cosmic-Ray Electrons and Positrons  [PDF]
Matthew D. Kistler,Hasan Yuksel
Physics , 2009,
Abstract: At energies above a few TeV, no measurements of the cosmic-ray electron spectrum exist yet. By considering the similarity of air showers induced by electrons and gamma rays as seen by ground-based arrays, we use published limits on isotropic gamma-ray fluxes to place first constraints on the >10 TeV electron spectrum. We demonstrate that, due the proximity of known sources, the flux of such electrons (and positrons) can be large. We show how these smoothly connect to lower-energy positrons measured by PAMELA and relate to exciting new indications from Fermi.
Observation of shadowing of the cosmic electrons and positrons by the Moon with IACT  [PDF]
P. Colin,D. Borla Tridon,D. Britzger,E. Lorenz,R. Mirzoyan,T. Schweizer,M. Teshima,for the MAGIC Collaboration
Physics , 2009,
Abstract: Recent measurements of the cosmic-ray electron (e-) and positron (e+) fluxes show apparent excesses compared to the spectra expected by standard cosmic-ray (CR) propagation models in our galaxy. These excesses may be related to particle acceleration in local astrophysical objects, or to dark matter annihilation/decay. The e+/e- ratio (measured up to ~100 GeV) increases unexpectedly above 10 GeV and this may be connected to the excess measured in all-electron flux at 300-800 GeV. Measurement of this ratio at higher energies is a key parameter to understand the origin of these spectral anomalies. Imaging Atmospheric Cherenkov Telescopes (IACT) detect electromagnetic air showers above 100 GeV, but, with this technique, the discrimination between primary e-, e+ and diffuse gamma-rays is almost impossible. However, the Moon and the geomagnetic field provide an incredible opportunity to separate these 3 components. Indeed, the Moon produces a 0.5deg-diameter hole in the isotropic CR flux, which is shifted by the Earth magnetosphere depending on the momentum and charge of the particles. Below few TeV, the e+ and e- shadows are shifted at >0.5deg each side of the Moon and the e+, e- and gamma-ray shadows are spatially separated. IACT can observe the e+ and e- shadows without direct moonlight in the field of view, but the scattered moonlight induces a very high background level. Operating at the highest altitude (2200m), with the largest telescopes (17m) of the current IACT, MAGIC is the best candidate to reach a low energy threshold in these peculiar conditions. Here we discuss the feasibility of such observations.
Analysis of the Spectral Intensities and Ratios of Electrons and Positrons in Cosmic Rays  [PDF]
R. Cowsik,B. Burch
Physics , 2009,
Abstract: The observations of the total electronic component and the positron fraction in cosmic rays by the FERMI, HESS, ATIC, and PAMELA instruments are studied with analytical propagation models, both for a set of discrete sources and for a spatially smooth source distribution. The positron fraction over the entire energy range of ~1-100 GeV is shown to fit with the nested leaky box model. We derive the spectrum of electrons in cosmic rays arising from direct acceleration by the sources and discuss the narrow spectral feature in the spectrum.
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