Space Science Reviews

, Volume 74, Issue 3–4, pp 385–396 | Cite as

The origin of cosmic rays

  • Peter L. Biermann


In the following we describe recent progress in our understanding of the origin of cosmic rays. We propose that cosmic rays originate mainly in three sites, a) normal supernova explosions into the interstellar medium, b) supernova explosions into stellar winds, and c) hot spots of powerful radio galaxies. The proposal depends on an assumption about the scaling of the turbulent diffusive transport in cosmic ray mediated shock regions; the proposal also uses a specific model for the interstellar transport of cosmic rays. The model has been investigated in some detail and compared to i) the radio data of OB stars, Wolf Rayet stars, radio supernovae, radio supernova remnants, Gamma-ray line and continuum emission from starforming regions, and the cosmic ray electron spectrum, ii) the Akeno air shower data over the particle energy range from 10 TeV to EeV, and iii) the Akeno and Fly's Eye air shower data from 0.1 EeV to above 100 EeV.

Key words

Cosmic Rays 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter L. Biermann
    • 1
  1. 1.Max Planck Institut für RadioastronomieBonnGermany

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