When high-energy cosmic rays interact with electronics or other materials in a spacecraft, including the occupants themselves, pions are produced as secondary particles. These secondary pions interact further in the materials producing nuclear secondaries, including nuclear recoils and heavy-ion tertiaries. The secondary pions and the the tertiary particles are capable of producing single-event upsets and other damage in integrated circuits and damage in biological systems. Negative pions stopping in materials are particularly effective because of their unique ability to produce short-range heavy particles from pion stars. With the Los Alamos National Laboratory's version of the intranuclear cascade evaporation code, VEGAS, we have calculated the number of pions produced per energy interval per incident proton from 800 MeV protons on aluminum-27 and silicon-28 along with corresponding results for neutrons, protons and heavier ions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics