Spallogenic light elements and cosmic-ray origin

R. Ramaty*, R. E. Lingenfelter, B. Kozlovsky

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


We discuss the new information that the light elements, particularly Be, have brought to cosmic-ray studies, specifically to the issue of the origin of the seed material of the cosmic rays. The primary nature of the Be evolution strongly suggests that supernova ejecta are the sources of this material. We discuss the superbubble models that emerged as the most likely site for the acceleration of supernova ejecta, and we review the arguments that support the model in which the present epoch cosmic rays have the same origin as those that produce the light elements throughout the evolutionary history of the Galaxy. These arguments include the facts that the bulk of the Galactic supernovae are confined within the interiors of superbubbles, where their ejecta could dominate the metallicity, and that high velocity grains, which condense out of the cooling and expanding ejecta, serve as the injection source for shock acceleration, via sputtering of grain material and scattering of volatile gas atoms. We also review the evolutionary calculations that show that a secondary origin for the evolution of Be as a function of the O abundance is energetically untenable, and unnecessary if cosmic-ray transport is properly taken into account.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-60
Number of pages10
JournalSpace Science Reviews
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - 2001


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