Lyman Limit for 0 < z < 6 and the Optical Depth of the Universe to High Energy Gamma - Rays


We calculate the intergalactic photon density as a function of both energy and redshift for 0 < z < 6 for photon energies from .003 eV to the Lyman limit cutoff at 13.6 eV in a ΛCDM universe with ΩΛ = 0.7 and Ωm = 0.3. The basic features of our backwards evolution model for galaxies were developed in Malkan and Stecker (1998 and 2001). With a few improvements, we find that this evolutionary model gives predictions of new deep number counts from Spitzer as well as a calculation spectral energy distribution of the diffuse infrared background which are in good agreement with the data. We then use our calculated intergalactic photon densities to extend previous work on the absorption of high energy γ-rays in intergalactic space owing to interactions with low energy photons and the 2.7 K cosmic background radiation. We calculate the optical depth of the universe, τ , for γ-rays having energies from 4 GeV to 100 TeV emitted by sources at redshifts from 0 to 5. We also give an analytic fit with numerical coefficients for approximating τ(Eγ , z). As an example of the application of our results, we calculate the absorbed spectrum of the blazar PKS 2155-304 at z = 0.117 and compare it with the spectrum observed by the H.E.S.S. air Cherenkov γ-ray telescope array.

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@inproceedings{Stecker2006LymanLF, title={Lyman Limit for 0 < z < 6 and the Optical Depth of the Universe to High Energy Gamma - Rays}, author={Floyd W. Stecker and Matthew A. Malkan and S . T . Scully}, year={2006} }