Abundance enhancements in cosmic rays produced by collisionless shocks Academic Article uri icon


  • It is shown that shocks preferentially accelerate partially ionized heavy elements over protons. Within the framework of a previously published model of injection, the spectra of different ion species are calculated from thermal to ultrarelativistic energies. For typical astrophysical parameters, the predicted enhancement is in qualitative agreement with observations for a 10 to the 6th K preshock plasma; ions with Z greater than 10 are enhanced by about an order of magnitude or so. The continuing increase with energy of the heavy-element abundances into the air-shower regime is discussed.

publication date

  • January 1, 1981