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Ultra-high-energy cosmic ray ≠ collision of 2 'normal' rays?

  1. Aug 27, 2012 #1

    I have a rather basic question: most 'cosmic rays' have an energy of about 109 eV, but there are also 'Ultra-high-energy cosmic rays' with an energy of around 1019 eV to 1020 eV, so I was wondering if they couldn't be the result of collisions of two 'normal' cosmic rays that hit each other from a very sharp angle, and splash open? The energy is about double the size of one single 'normal' event, and these rays are measured depending on the size of the shower, and perhaps chances of 2 normal ones hitting each other just right, could also be very rare.

    If it's not possible, than I was curious what would make such an event stand out from a real Ultra-high-energy cosmic ray collision?


  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 27, 2012 #2


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    10^19 - 10^20 eV is not "about double" 10^9 eV - it is 10-100 billion times larger!
  4. Aug 27, 2012 #3
    oops, ok so two normal ones colliding would than simply give an energy release of 2 x 10^9 eV

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