Measurements of the Cosmic Ray Composition with Air Shower Experiments

  title={Measurements of the Cosmic Ray Composition with Air Shower Experiments},
  author={K-H. Kampert and Michael Unger},
  journal={Astroparticle Physics},
Abstract In this paper we review air shower data related to the mass composition of cosmic rays above 1015 eV. After explaining the basic relations between air shower observables and the primary mass and energy of cosmic rays, we present different approaches and results of composition studies with surface detectors. Furthermore, we discuss measurements of the longitudinal development of air showers from non-imaging Cherenkov detectors and fluorescence telescopes. The interpretation of these… 
Extensive Air Showers and Cosmic Ray Physics above 10 17 eV
Cosmic Rays above 10 17 eV allow studying hadronic interactions at energies that can not be attained at accelerators yet. At the same time hadronic interaction models have to be applied to the
Measurement of the Muon Content of Air Showers with IceTop
IceTop, the surface component of the IceCube detector, has measured the energy spectrum of cosmic ray primaries in the range between 1.6 PeV and 1.3 EeV. IceTop can also be used to measure the
Cosmic ray energy spectrum from measurements of air showers
This review focuses on high-energy cosmic rays in the PeV energy range and above. Of particular interest is the knee of the spectrum around 3 PeV and the transition from cosmic rays of Galactic
Measurement of the muon content in air showers at the Pierre Auger Observatory
The muon content of extensive air showers produced by ultra-high energy cosmic rays is an observable sensitive to the composition of primary particles and to the properties of hadronic interactions
Progress in high-energy cosmic ray physics
Abstract We review some of the recent progress in our knowledge about high-energy cosmic rays, with an emphasis on the interpretation of the different observational results. We discuss the effects
Spectra and composition of ultrahigh-energy cosmic rays and the measurement of the proton-air cross section
The shape of the longitudinal development of the showers generated in the atmosphere by very high energy cosmic ray particles encodes information about the mass composition of the flux, and about the
Measurements and tests of hadronic interactions at ultra-high energies with the Pierre Auger Observatory
  • L. Cazon
  • Physics
    EPJ Web of Conferences
  • 2019
Extensive air showers are complex objects, resulting of billions of particle reactions initiated by single cosmic ray at ultra-high-energy. Their characteristics are sensitive both to the mass of the
High energy interactions of cosmic rays
Abstract A discussion of a number of important topics related to modeling of high energy cosmic ray interactions is presented. Special attention is devoted to novel theoretical approaches employed in
Connecting accelerator experiments and cosmic ray showers
Currently the uncertainty in the prediction of shower observables for different primary particles and energies is dominated by differences between hadronic interaction models. The LHC data on minimum
Data-driven estimation of the invisible energy of cosmic ray showers with the Pierre Auger Observatory
The determination of the primary energy of extensive air showers using the fluorescence detection technique requires an estimation of the energy carried away by particles that do not deposit all


Measuring the UHE cosmic-ray composition with tracking detectors in air-shower arrays
Abstract Measuring the angles of muons and electrons in air showers is proposed as a method for studying the primary cosmic-ray mass composition near the knee of the cosmic-ray energy spectrum at a
Extensive Air Showers and Hadronic Interactions at High Energy
At energies greater than 1015 eV, cosmic-ray particles can be measured only indirectly by detecting the extensive showers of secondary particles they create in the Earth's atmosphere. A detailed
Changes of the cosmic-ray mass composition in the 1014–1016 eV energy range
Data taken with ten Cosmic Ray Tracking (CRT) detectors and the HEGRA air-shower array on La Palma, Canary Islands, have been analysed to investigate changes of the cosmic-ray mass composition at the
Systematic uncertainties in air shower measurements from high-energy hadronic interaction models
Hadronic interaction models at cosmic ray energies are inherently uncertain due to the lack of a fundamental theoretical description of soft hadronic and nuclear interactions and the large
Influence of Low Energy Hadronic Interactions on Air-shower Simulations
Experiments measuring cosmic rays above an energy of ∼ 10 14 eV deduce the energy and mass of the primary cosmic ray particles from air-shower simulations. We investigate the importance of hadronic
Cosmogenic photons as a test of ultra-high energy cosmic ray composition
Abstract Although recent measurements of the shower profiles of ultra-high energy cosmic rays suggest that they are largely initiated by heavy nuclei, such conclusions rely on hadronic interaction
A likelihood method for measuring the ultrahigh energy cosmic ray composition
Abstract Air fluorescence detectors traditionally determine the dominant chemical composition of the ultrahigh energy cosmic ray flux by comparing the averaged slant depth of the shower maximum, X
Extensive air shower simulations at the highest energies
Abstract Air shower simulation programs are essential tools for the analysis of data from cosmic ray experiments and for planning the layout of new detectors. They are used to estimate the energy and
Observation of “the knee” in cosmic ray energy spectrum with underground muons and primary mass composition in the range 1015–1017 eV
Abstract The method of recalculation from the muon multiplicity spectrum to the extensive air showers spectrum vs the total muon number, nμ, is presented. The method allows the direct comparison of
Indications of proton-dominated cosmic-ray composition above 1.6 EeV.
These measurements constrain models in which the galactic-to-extragalactic transition is the cause of the energy spectrum ankle at 4x10(18) eV, and are consistent with a predominantly protonic composition of cosmic rays when interpreted via the Q GSJET01 and QGSJET-II high-energy hadronic interaction models.