Young supernova remnants and the knee in the cosmic ray spectrum
19 May 2011
1Lebedev Physical Institute, Moscow 117924, Russia
2Physics Dept., University of Łódź; Sołtan Inst. Nucl. Studies, Łódź, Poland
3Department of Physics, Durham University, Durham, UK
Abstract. It has recently been suggested that neutron stars inside the shells of young supernova remnants (SNR) are the sources of PeV cosmic rays and that the interaction of the particles with the radiation field in the SNR causes electron pair production, which has relevance to recent observations of "high" positron fluxes. Furthermore, the character of the interaction is such that the well-known knee in the cosmic ray energy spectrum can be explained. Our examination of the mechanism leads us to believe that the required parameters of SN and pulsars are so uncommon that the knee and positron fraction can only be explained if a single, local and recent SN – and associated pulsar – are concerned. In this case the mechanism can be valid.