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Analysis of extensive air showers: particle physics with extraterrestrial accelerators

Grant number: 14/10460-1
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2014
Effective date (End): February 28, 2018
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Physics - Elementary Particle Physics and Fields
Acordo de Cooperação: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)
Principal Investigator:Luiz Vitor de Souza Filho
Grantee:Raul Ribeiro Prado
Host 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
Associated scholarship(s):16/12735-3 - Air shower particle physics, BE.EP.DR


The production of energetic particles in the Universe remains as one of the biggest mysteries of modern science. The acceleration mechanisms of particles from astrophysical sources are still unknown and recent results point to the necessity of a multi-messenger approach to solve this problem. The interpretation of measured data depends on our knowledge of the fundamental particle interactions at energies unreachable by man built accelerators. Thus, the analysis of cosmic particles can bring valuable informations about astrophysical objects just like about elementary interactions of nature. This project focuses on analysis of extensive atmosferic showers in order to extract relevant informations about both aspects present in study of astroparticles. We will analyze measured data and elaborate theoretical models which contributes to our understanding of the particle interactions in order to solve discrepancies between hadronic interactions models and their implications on data analysis of main experiments in operation. On the other hand, we will use data measured by several experiments in operation in order to extract relevant informations about chemical composition of astroparticles reaching Earth, including posible existence of exotics component. Both targets of this work demand especial attention on the shower parameters that are sensitive to elementary interactions: hadronic and eletromagnetics, such as, Xmax and number of muons. Using modern tecniques for multivariate analysis, Monte Carlo simulations, neural networks and pattern recognition, we intend to contribute significantly to the progress on the understanding about some open questions in the area. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(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)
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)
Academic Publications
(References retrieved automatically from State of São Paulo Research Institutions)
PRADO, Raul Ribeiro. Experimental studies of the muonic component of extensive air showers. 2018. Doctoral Thesis - Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Instituto de Física de São Carlos (IFSC/BT) São Carlos.

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