Lower Energy Cutoff of Nonthermal Electrons Derived from BATSE/CGRO Hard X-ray Observations
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ABSTRACTA quantitative method to determine the lower energy cutoff (Ec) of power-law electron beams has been established. We applied this method to the 54 hard X-ray events observed with BATSE/Compton Gamma Ray Observatory (CGRO). The results show that about 75% observed broken-down double power-law spectra of hard X-rays can be explained by the power-law electron beams with a lower energy cutoff. 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 the nonthermal electrons might not be so important in powering a solar flare as previously thought. The further significance of this finding is discussed.

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