Very-high-energy gamma-ray signal from nuclear photodisintegration as a probe of extragalactic sources of ultrahigh-energy nuclei
Beacom, John F.
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Publisher:American Physical Society
Citation:Kohta Murase, John F. Beacom, "Very-high-energy gamma-ray signal from nuclear photodisintegration as a probe of extragalactic sources of ultrahigh-energy nuclei," Physical Review D 82, no. 4 (2010), doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.82.043008
It is crucial to identify the ultrahigh-energy cosmic-ray sources and probe their unknown properties. Recent results from the Pierre Auger Observatory favor a heavy nuclear composition for the ultrahigh-energy cosmic rays. Under the requirement that heavy nuclei survive in these sources, using gamma-ray bursts as an example, we predict a diagnostic gamma-ray signal, unique to nuclei—the emission of deexcitation gamma rays following photodisintegration. These gamma rays, boosted from MeV to TeV-PeV energies, may be detectable by gamma-ray telescopes such as VERITAS, HESS, and MAGIC, and especially the next-generation CTA and AGIS. They are a promising messenger to identify and study individual ultrahigh-energy nuclei accelerators.
Rights:©2010 The American Physical Society
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