View Full Version : Refining cross-sections for cosmic ray studies.

2018-Mar-14, 06:35 PM
Cosmic rays bombard us daily, with their secondaries whistling along through the atmosphere, to contribute to the background seen in radiation detectors, to the total tune of about 12 glitches per minute (lattitude dependent). Holes in the head occur more frequently, (and obviously ) for some people rather than others (also lattitude dependent). The authors specify the need for more accurate measurements of the cross-sections to look for subtle effects in the field. Instrumentation improvements always make for ability to see things better.......if your watch had 10 sig figs on it, you could see it run faster on the second floor of the building. So, they focus on the low Z elements in the CR spectrum and a host of possible interactions that need better precision to advance the field.
I find this stuff interesting, because spallation by cosmic rays doesn't just put holes in my head, in the periphery of the galaxy's halo, it shatters the nuclei of the light elements which are involved in making both CO and HCN, carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide respectively. They are generally used to infer the presence of gases in the halo, and if the relative abundance of tracer gases to near-invisible gases varies a lot out there, our estimates of the baryonic contributions of them, like molecular hydrogen, might run amiss. So, bring on the fine tuning, Mozart, the music of the spheres awaits.