Atmospheric Muons as IceCube Signal
DESY-Zeuthen, Platanenallee 6, D-15738 Zeuthen, Germany
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Muons of energies above 1 TeV produced in cosmic ray induced air showers account for the vast majority of events in IceCube. Its enormous size compared to previous volume detectors translates into an unprecedented amount of statistics for high-energy atmospheric muons. This offers a wide range of opportunities for original cosmic ray and particle physics.
By identifying highly energetic stochastic losses within the detector volume, the single muon spectrum can be measured up to PeV energies. The result is sensitive to the cosmic ray composition around the knee and the contribution to atmospheric lepton fluxes from prompt hadron decays. The multiplicity spectrum of muon bundles relates to the cosmic ray primary flux and composition. Clear features are visible, which can be used to constrain phenomenological models. Investigation of high-pT muons at previously inaccessible lateral separations point to shortcomings in current hadronic interaction models. Furthermore, the large event statistics allow detailed investigation of anisotropies in the arrival direction of cosmic rays for primary energies in excess of 1 PeV.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2013
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