Precision Measurement of Cosmic-Ray Nitrogen and its Primary and Secondary Components with the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer on the International Space Station

AMS Collaboration

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Abstract

A precision measurement of the nitrogen flux with rigidity (momentum per unit charge) from 2.2 GV to 3.3 TV based on 2.2 x 10(6) events is presented. The detailed rigidity dependence of the nitrogen flux spectral index is presented for the first time. The spectral index rapidly hardens at high rigidities and becomes identical to the spectral indices of primary He, C, and O cosmic rays above similar to 700 GV. We observed that the nitrogen flux Phi(N) can be presented as the sum of its primary component Phi(P)(N) and secondary component Phi(S)(N), Phi(N) = Phi(P)(N) + Phi(S)(N), and we found Phi(N) is well described by the weighted sum of the oxygen flux Phi(O) (primary cosmic rays) and the boron flux Phi(B) (secondary cosmic rays), with Phi(P)(N) = (0.090 +/- 0.002) x Phi(O) and Phi(S)(N) = (0.62 +/- 0.02) x Phi(B) over the entire rigidity range. This corresponds to a change of the contribution of the secondary cosmic ray component in the nitrogen flux from 70% at a few GV to <30% above 1 TV.

Original languageEnglish
Article number051103
Pages (from-to)051103-1 - 051103-8
Number of pages8
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Volume121
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31-Jul-2018

Keywords

  • GEOMAGNETIC REFERENCE FIELD
  • ENERGY-SPECTRA
  • CHARGE COMPOSITION
  • NUCLEI
  • AMS-02
  • GENERATION
  • ABUNDANCES
  • DETECTOR
  • CARBON
  • FLIGHT

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