Extensive Air Showers: from the muonic smoking guns to the hadronic backbone
LIP, Av. Elias Garcia 14-1, 1000, Lisboa
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Extensive Air Showers are complex macroscopic objects initiated by single ultra-high energy particles. They are the result of millions of high energy reactions in the atmosphere and can be described as the superposition of hadronic and electromagnetic cascades. The hadronic cascade is the air shower backbone, and it is mainly made of pions. Decays of neutral pions initiate electromagnetic cascades, while the decays of charged pions produce muons which leave the hadronic core and travel many kilometers almost unaffected. Muons are smoking guns of the hadronic cascade: the energy, transverse momentum, spatial distribution and depth of production are key to reconstruct the history of the air shower. In this work, we overview the phenomenology of muons on the air shower and its relation to the hadronic cascade. We briefly review the experimental efforts to analyze muons within air showers and discuss possible paths to use this information.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2013
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.