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Published March 2001 | Published
Book Section - Chapter Open

The cosmic-ray contribution to galactic abundances of the light elements: Interpretation of GCR LiBeB abundance measurements from ACE/CRIS


Inelastic collisions between the galactic cosmic rays (GCRs) and the interstellar medium (ISM) are responsible for producing essentially all of the light elements Li, Be, and B (LiBeB) observed in the cosmic rays. Previous calculations (e.g., [1]) have shown that GCR fragmentation can explain the bulk of the existing LiBeB abundance in the present day Galaxy. However, elemental abundances of LiBeB in old halo stars indicate inconsistencies with this explanation. We have used a simple leaky-box model to predict the cosmic-ray elemental and isotopic abundances of LiBeB in the present epoch. We conducted a survey of recent scientific literature on fragmentation cross sections and have calculated the amount of uncertainty they introduce into our model. The predicted particle intensities of this model were compared with high energy (E_(ISM) = 200–500 MeV/nucleon) cosmic-ray data from the Cosmic Ray Isotope Spectrometer (CRIS), which indicates fairly good agreement with absolute fluxes for Z ≥ 5 and relative isotopic abundances for all LiBeB species.

Additional Information

© 2001 American Institute of Physics. This research was supported by NASA at the California Institute of Technology, (grant NAG5-6912), the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, and Washington University.

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