On photohadronic processes in astrophysical environments

A. Mücke, J.P. Rachen, Ralph Engel, R.J. Protheroe, Todor Stanev, PASA, 16 (2), 160
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Next Section: Introduction
Contents Page: Volume 16, Number 2

On photohadronic processes in astrophysical environments

A. Mücke1
J.P. Rachen2
Ralph Engel3
R.J. Protheroe1
Todor Stanev3

1 University of Adelaide, Dept. of Physics & Math.Physics, Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia
amuecke@physics.adelaide.edu.au, rprother@physics.adelaide.edu.au

2 Pennsylvania State University, Dept. of Astronomy, University Park, PA 16802, USA

3 Bartol Research Institute, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716, USA
eng@lepton.bartol.udel.edu, stanev@bartol.udel.edu


We discuss the first applications of our newly developed Monte Carlo event generator SOPHIA to multiparticle photoproduction of relativistic protons with thermal and power law radiation fields. The measured total cross section is reproduced in terms of excitation and decay of baryon resonances, direct pion production, diffractive scattering, and non-diffractive multiparticle production. Non-diffractive multiparticle production is described using a string fragmentation model. We demonstrate that the widely used `$\Delta$-approximation' for the photoproduction cross section is reasonable only for a restricted set of astrophysical applications. The relevance of this result for cosmic ray propagation through the microwave background and hadronic models of active galactic nuclei and gamma-ray bursts is briefly discussed.

Keywords: nuclear reactions - elementary particles - radiation mechanisms: non-thermal

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