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Cosmic Rays from Super-novae

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  • Caltech Library Services
  • Astronomy
  • Physics


With the facts mentioned as a beginning it has become customary to reason approximately as follows. Since none of the objects of our Milky Way seem to produce any cosmic rays, these rays probably are not emitted from any of the extragalactic nebulae either, as the spirals among these nebulae are in most respects similar to our own Milky Way. One arrives therefore at one of two hypotheses, either that cosmic rays originate in intergalactic space or that they are survivors from a time when physical conditions in the universe were entirely different from what they are now (Lemattre). On closer scrutiny both hypotheses prove to be very unsatisfactory. On both views one is forced to assume entirely fantastic processes as regards the mode of creation of the rays. Furthermore, on neither of the two hypotheses can it easily be understood why the ratio of the intensity of cosmic rays to the intensity of visible light from extragalactic space is so much greater than unity, whereas the same ratio for our own galaxy is certainly smaller than one (probably less than 0.005) [1]. In the following we make an entirely new proposal, which, we think, removes some of the major difficulties concerning the origin of cosmic rays.

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