On Big Bang relics, the neutrino mass and the spectrum of cosmic rays

Richard Wigmans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

It is shown that high-energy features of the cosmic ray spectrum, in particular the kink around 4 PeV and the corresponding change in spectral index, may be explained from interactions between highly energetic cosmic protons and relic Big Bang antineutrinos, if the latter have a rest mass of about 0.4 eV/c2. This explanation is supported by experimental data from extensive air-shower experiments, and in particular by the observation (Fly's Eye) of a second kink around 300 PeV, and by the abrupt change in the chemical composition of the cosmic ray spectrum that occurs at that energy. Both facts follow naturally from our theory, which predicts additional verifiable features of the cosmic ray spectrum in the few-PeV region, e.g. an abrupt decrease in the p/α ratio.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-310
Number of pages6
JournalNuclear Physics B - Proceedings Supplements
Volume85
Issue number1-3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2000

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