A secondary tracer approach to the derivation of galactic cosmic-ray source isotopic abundances
A formalism has been developed for deriving cosmic-ray source isotopic abundances from observed local abundances using a purely secondary nuclide as a tracer of spallation production during propagation. Although the formalism is based on the leaky-box model of cosmic-ray propagation, it is shown that source abundances derived by the tracer technique are reasonably independent of detailed propagation models. The tracer formalism also permits a quantitative evaluation of the effects of observational uncertainties on deduced source abundances. It is shown that statistical errors in the observed abundances and uncertainties in the spallation cross sections are at present the dominant sources of uncertainty. The latter error can be reduced with increased detector size or exposure time, while the former can be minimized by measurements of the relative production cross sections. As a specific example, the tracer technique is applied to the isotopes of sulfur and calcium, and the level of uncertainties which must be achieved to distinguish evolutionary differences between solar-system material and cosmic ray-source material are established.
Additional Information© 1979 American Astronomical Society. Received 1978 November 3; accepted 1979 January 25. We appreciate discussion with M. Casse and comments on the manuscript by R. A. Mewaldt and J. F. Zumberge. This work was supported in part by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration under grant NGR 05-002-160.
Published - 1979ApJ___231__606S.pdf