An analysis has been made of the experimental results of Akimovet al on the inelastic cross sections of proton on proton and carbon targets in the energy range 20 to 600 GeV obtained from artificial earth satellites. It is found that an upper limit of 4% at 95% confidence level can be set on the fraction of deuterons relative to the flux of protons in the primary cosmic radiation at energies in the range 20 to 60 GeV. There is an indication for a rise of (29±7) mb in the inelastic cross section of proton against carbon in the energy range of 200 to 600 GeV over and above what is expected from Glauber’s theory. If this rise has to be interpreted as due to contamination from cosmic ray deuterons, the fraction of deuterons relative to protons needed is (15±4)% in this energy region.
Volume 96, 2022
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