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A new generation of RPC muon detectors for high-precision high-energy cosmic-shower

Grant number: 14/19946-4
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: September 01, 2015 - February 28, 2019
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Physics - Elementary Particle Physics and Fields
Convênio/Acordo: Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT)
Principal Investigator:Carola Dobrigkeit Chinellato
Grantee:Carola Dobrigkeit Chinellato
Principal researcher abroad: Mário João Martins Pimenta
Institution abroad: Instituto Superior Técnico (IST), Portugal
Host Institution: Instituto de Física Gleb Wataghin (IFGW). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated researchers:Luiz Vitor de Souza Filho ; Paulo Jorge Ribeiro da Fonte


During the 20th century, new physics scales were systematically explored at accelerators. The beautiful Standard Model of particle physics was discovered and impressively tested. The universe is, we are now convinced, full of mysterious dark matter and dark energy and even in the remaining 5\% of "ordinary'' matter, great secrets may still be hidden. The way towards the Planck energy scale is {\it terra incognita}. Due to fundamental limitations of accelerators, only cosmic rays can give access to centre-of-mass energies more than one order of magnitude above those reached at the LHC. In fact, extreme energy cosmic rays ($E>10^{18}$~eV) are the only possibility to explore the 100 TeV energy scale in the years to come.This proposal aims at preparing the path for the full exploration of the electromagnetic, muon and light components of air showers in the next generation of extreme energy cosmic ray experiments. The work involves the development, construction, deployment and operation of new detectors. While a long path has been walked by the proponent teams, well defined R\&D challenges remain to be addressed. In addition, an important task of industrial redesign and preparation for production will have to be carried on. The project has an approved test site at the Pierre Auger Observatory. It also foresees the development of highly performing analysis tools allowing to fully explore the data of new detectors, enabling a breaktrough in the understanding of the nature of high-energy cosmic rays and of air-shower development;This project offers excellent opportunities for cooperation between São Paulo - Brazil and Portugal in the development of technology in partnership with companies of both countries, education of high level students (master and PhDs), advanced training of technicians and outreach. The instruments which we proposed to study, build and test have promising future application in cosmic ray physics, particle physics and other domains. In fact, large area, low cost, low gas flux detectors would be a unique, innovative, detector and would find application in any low count rate application such as muon radiography and many nuclear physics experiments. The PIs of the present project lead top-level teams in the technological and scientific areas, with their transnational collaboration, the PIs of the project put together unique expertise, creating the conditions for a breakthrough in detector R\&D and for a deep contribution for the future of extreme energy cosmic-ray physics.The specific objectives of the present proposal are thus: a) Develop large-area, low cost, low gas flux Resistive Plate Chambers (RPC), ideal for deployment in remote locations; b) Design and construct an engineering array of RPC detectors at the Pierre Auger Observatory site; c) Develop high-performance analysis tools allowing the exploration of multi-component data, contributing to a breakthrough in high energy cosmic ray physics and d) offer a platform of excellence for exchange and cooperation between Portugal and Brazil, including technology transfer, advanced training, education and outreach. (AU)

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Scientific publications (6)
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
DOS ANJOS, RITA C.; DE SOUZA, VITOR; DE ALMEIDA, ROGERIO M.; SANTOS, EDIVALDO M.. The influence of the observatory latitude on the study of ultra high energy cosmic rays. Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics, n. 7, . (10/07359-6, 14/19946-4)
LOPES, L.; ALVES, A. B.; ASSIS, P.; BLANCO, A.; CAROLINO, N.; CERDA, M. A.; CONCEICAO, R.; CUNHA, O.; DOBRIGKEIT, C.; FERREIRA, M.; et al. Long term experience in Autonomous Stations and production quality control. Journal of Instrumentation, v. 14, . (14/19946-4)
ABREU, P.; ANDRINGA, S.; ASSIS, P.; BLANCO, A.; BARBOSA MARTINS, V.; BROGUEIRA, P.; CAROLINO, N.; CAZON, L.; CERDA, M.; CERNICCHIARO, G.; et al. MARTA: a high-energy cosmic-ray detector concept for high-accuracy muon measurement. EUROPEAN PHYSICAL JOURNAL C, v. 78, n. 4, . (14/19946-4)
DOS ANJOS, RITA C.; COIMBRA-ARAUJO, CARLOS H.; DA ROCHA, ROLDAO; DE SOUZA, VITOR. Ultra high energy cosmic rays and possible signature of black strings. Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics, n. 3, . (15/10270-0, 14/19946-4)
PRADO, RAUL R.; DE SOUZA, VITOR. A new air-shower observable to constrain hadronic interaction models. Astroparticle Physics, v. 93, p. 28-37, . (14/10460-1, 14/19946-4, 15/15897-1)
PRADO, RAUL R.; CONCEICAO, RUBEN; PIMENTA, MARIO; DE SOUZA, VITOR. Interpretation of measurements of the number of muons in extensive air shower experiments. Astroparticle Physics, v. 83, p. 40-52, . (14/10460-1, 10/07359-6, 14/19946-4)

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