ChJAA Vol 1, No 5 (2001) / Gan

On the Lower Energy Cutoff of Nonthermal Electrons in Solar Flares

Wei-Qun Gan, You-Ping Li, Jin Chang

Abstract

A quantitative method to determine the lower energy cutoff ( Ec) of power-law electron beams is established. We apply this method to the 54 hard X-ray events observed with BATSE/Compton Gamma Ray Observatory (CGRO). The results show that about 75% of the observed broken double power-law spectra of hard X-rays can be explained by a lower energy cutoff in the power-law electron beams. The values of Ec, varying among the flares, are all greater than the usually accepted 20 keV! On average, Ec) is about 69 keV. So high a lower energy cutoff of nonthermal electrons implies that nonthermal electrons might not be as important in powering solar flares as was previously thought. Further significance of this finding is discussed.

Keywords


Sun: hard X-rays -- Sun: gamma-rays -- Sun: flares -- Sun: particles

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