Precise Measurements of Hydrogen and Helium Isotopes with BESS-Polar II
N. Picot Clemente
A precise knowledge of cosmic-ray hydrogen and helium isotopes provides important information to better understand Galactic cosmic-ray propagation. Deuteron and helium 3 species are mainly secondary particles created by the spallation of primary proton and helium 4 particles during their propagation in the Galaxy. Secondary-to-primary ratios thus bring direct information on the average amount of material traversed by cosmic rays in the interstellar medium. The Balloon-borne Experiment with Superconducting Spectrometer BESS-Polar II flew over Antarctica for 24.5 days from December 2007 through January 2008, during the 23rd solar cycle minimum. The instrument is made of complementary particle detectors which allow to precisely measure the charge, velocity and rigidity of incident cosmic rays. It can accurately separate and precisely measure cosmic-ray hydrogen and helium isotopes between 0.2 and 1.5 GeV/nucleon. These data, which are the most precise to date, will be reported and their implications will be discussed.