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Ultra high energy cosmic ray composition

Grant number: 11/21943-5
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): February 01, 2012
Effective date (End): December 31, 2012
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Physics
Principal Investigator:Luiz Vitor de Souza Filho
Grantee:Mateus Arantes Fandino
Home Institution: Instituto de Física de São Carlos (IFSC). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:10/07359-6 - Study of cosmic rays of highest energies with the Pierre Auger Observatory , AP.TEM

Abstract

The aim of this project is to study the cosmic ray composition using the Pierre Auger Observatory data. The determination of the cosmic ray composition is a key issue in the development of the astrophysical interpretation of the data, nevertheless, the techniques used to extract this information are yet to be developed. Intrinsic fluctuations of the particle interactions through the development of the air shower is the main source of indetermination in the analysis methods. Not only that, but the energy of the particles are above the limit accessible by particle accelerators (LHC) and therefore the hadronic interactions properties are also a major source of errors. Given these problems, the analysis of the cosmic ray composition in the traditional analysis is limited to one significant parameter. However, several parameters measured by the Pierre Auger Observatory are sensitive to the primary particle type. Informations such as the radius of curvature, the number of muons, the shape of the longitudinal profile and many other proposal are yet to the used in order to reconstruct the primary particle type. In this project, we are going to investigate the time sequence of the surface detectors of the Pierre Auger Observatory and search for pattern in the detector spikes which correlates with the primary particle type. (AU)