The Effect of Cross-Section Uncertainties on the Derivation of Source Abundances from Cosmic-Ray Composition Observations

  • M. E. Wiedenbeck
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (ASIC, volume 107)


The abundance of a cosmic-ray nuclide observed near Earth is composed of two parts which we designate as ‘primary’ and ‘secondary’. The primary particles are those which were accelerated at the cosmic-ray ‘source’ and have survived their traversal of the interstellar medium without undergoing a nuclear interaction which would change their identity (i. e., either their number of protons or their number of neutrons). The secondary particles are the fragments produced in the break-up of heavier nuclides which have undergone destructive collisions with atoms in the interstellar gas. The derivation of source abundances from the composition observed near Earth requires that the secondary contribution to the observed nuclidic abundances be calculated from a model of cosmic-ray propagation.


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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. E. Wiedenbeck
    • 1
  1. 1.Space Sciences LaboratoryUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

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