The Greisen-Zatzepin-Kuzmin feature in our neighborhood of the universe

Michael Blanton, Pasquale Blasi, Angela V. Olinto

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    We calculate numerically the spectrum of ultra-high energy cosmic rays on Earth assuming that their sources are distributed in space like the observed galaxies. We use the CfA2 and the PSCz galaxy redshift surveys to model the local galaxy distribution, properly taking into account the galaxy selection functions for each survey. When the survey selection effects are included, we find that the local overdensity is only a factor of 2, an order of magnitude less than used in some earlier studies. An overdensity of 2 is not enough to bridge the gap between the predicted number of events above 1020 eV and the measured flux at these highest energies. This conclusion is particularly strong for soft injection spectra (∝E-3) where the observed number of events is 6σ higher than the expected one. However, if the injection spectrum is hard (∝E-2), the small local overdensity helps bring the present data within 2σ of the low number of events predicted above 1020 eV. In this case, the Greisen-Zatzepin-Kuzmin cutoff is not a cutoff but rather a feature in the cosmic ray spectrum.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)275-286
    Number of pages12
    JournalAstroparticle Physics
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - Jun 2001


    • 13.85.Tp
    • 95.85.Ry
    • 96.40.-zv
    • Acceleration
    • Cosmic rays
    • Propagation
    • Ultra-high energy

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Astronomy and Astrophysics


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