3 years ago

Probing the evolution of the EAS muon content in the atmosphere with KASCADE-Grande.

H. Rebel, C. Grupen, E. Cantoni, D. Kang, T. Huege, S. Ostapchenko, J. Blümer, H. Ulrich, O. Sima, A. Gherghel-Lascu, P. Doll, A. Chiavassa, H.J. Mathes, J. Oehlschläger, T. Pierog, H.J. Mayer, H.O. Klages, J.R. Hörandel, A. Haungs, H.J. Gils, F. Di Pierro, G. Toma, K. Link, R. Glasstetter, R. Engel, H. Bozdog, D. Heck, J.C. Arteaga-Velázquez, J. Wochele, K. Daumiller, W.D. Apel, J. Zabierowski, M. Roth, P. Łuczak, K.-H. Kampert, J. Milke, G.C. Trinchero, S. Schoo, V. de Souza, F. Cossavella, D. Fuhrmann, K. Bekk, C. Morello, B. Mitrica, H. Schieler, I.M. Brancus, M. Bertaina, A. Weindl, F.G. Schröder, KASCADE-Grande Collaboration

The evolution of the muon content of very high energy air showers (EAS) in the atmosphere is investigated with data of the KASCADE-Grande observatory. For this purpose, the muon attenuation length in the atmosphere is obtained to $\Lambda_\mu = 1256 \, \pm 85 \, ^{+229}_{-232}(\mbox{syst})\, \mbox{g/cm}^2$ from the experimental data for shower energies between $10^{16.3}$ and $10^{17.0} \, \mbox{eV}$. Comparison of this quantity with predictions of the high-energy hadronic interaction models QGSJET-II-02, SIBYLL 2.1, QGSJET-II-04 and EPOS-LHC reveals that the attenuation of the muon content of measured EAS in the atmosphere is lower than predicted. Deviations are, however, less significant with the post-LHC models. The presence of such deviations seems to be related to a difference between the simulated and the measured zenith angle evolutions of the lateral muon density distributions of EAS, which also causes a discrepancy between the measured absorption lengths of the density of shower muons and the predicted ones at large distances from the EAS core. The studied deficiencies show that all four considered hadronic interaction models fail to describe consistently the zenith angle evolution of the muon content of EAS in the aforesaid energy regime.

Publisher URL: http://arxiv.org/abs/1801.05513

DOI: arXiv:1801.05513v1

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