Acceleration of highest energy cosmic rays

Recording Details

Speaker(s): 
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PIRSA Number: 
05110001

Abstract

Highest energy cosmic rays reach {\it macroscopic} energies $> 10^{20}$ eV ($\sim 10$ joules; corresponding linear momentum in one proton is similar to a slapshot hockey puck's). Such protons can either be accelerated by nearby astrophysical sources or be by-products of decay of unknown superheavy fundamental particles. After reviewing phenomenology of cosmic rays, I will discuss a novel {\it non-stochastic} acceleration mechanism in jets of powerful active galactic nuclei. The mystery of ultra high energy cosmic rays is likely soon to be resolved by Pierre Auger observatory.