GZK Photons as Ultra High Energy Cosmic Rays

Abstract : We calculate the flux of "GZK-photons", namely the flux of Ultra High Energy Cosmic Rays (UHECR) consisting of photons produced by extragalactic nucleons through the resonant photoproduction of pions, the so called GZK effect. We show that, for primary nucleons, the GZK photon fraction of the total UHECR flux is between $10^{-4}$ and $10^{-2}$ above $10^{19}$ eV and up to 0.6 above $10^{20}$ eV. The GZK photon flux depends on the assumed UHECR spectrum, slope of the nucleon flux at the source, distribution of sources and intervening backgrounds. Detection of this photon flux would open the way for UHECR gamma-ray astronomy. Detection of a larger photon flux would imply the emission of photons at the source or new physics. We compare the photon fractions expected for GZK photons and the minimal predicted by Top-Down models. We find that the photon fraction at $10^{20}$ eV is a crucial test for Top-Down models.

Contributor : Lantz Simone <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, January 4, 2006 - 3:00:38 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, January 4, 2006 - 3:00:38 PM




G. Gelmini, O. Kalashev, D.V. Semikoz. GZK Photons as Ultra High Energy Cosmic Rays. Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Physics (JETP) / Zhurnal Eksperimental'noi i Teoreticheskoi Fiziki, MAIK Nauka/Interperiodica (МАИК Наука/Интерпериодика), 2008, 106, pp.1061-1082. <10.1134/S106377610806006X>. <in2p3-00025291>