High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena

I shall discuss a "unified model" of high energy astrophysics, in which the gamma background radiation, cluster cooling flows, gamma-ray bursts, X-ray flashes --as well as cosmic-ray electrons and nuclei of all energies-- all share a common origin. The mechanism underlying all these phenomena is the emission of "cannonballs" by ordinary supernovae, entirely analogous to the observed relativistic ejections in quasars and microquasars. I shall concentrate on the the origin of Cosmic Rays, which, at the mature age of 92, is the longest-lasting conundrum in astrophysics. The distribution of Cosmic Rays in the Galaxy, their total "luminosity", the broken power-law spectra with their observed slopes, the position of the knee(s) and ankle(s), and the variations of composition with energy indicated by observations are all quantitatively or qualitatively explained in terms of extremely simple and completely "standard" physics. If correct, this model is only lacking a satisfactory theoretical understanding of the "cannon" that emits the cannonballs in a catastrophic process of accretion onto a compact object.
hep group