Testing Hadronic Interactions at Ultrahigh Energies with Air Showers Measured by the Pierre Auger Observatory

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Abstract

Ultrahigh energy cosmic ray air showers probe particle physics at energies beyond the reach ofaccelerators. Here we introduce a new method to test hadronic interaction models without relying on theabsolute energy calibration, and apply it to events with primary energy 6–16 EeV (E_CM = 110–170 TeV),whose longitudinal development and lateral distribution were simultaneously measured by the Pierre AugerObservatory. The average hadronic shower is 1.33 +/- 0.16 (1.61 +/- 0.21) times larger than predicted usingthe leading LHC-tuned models EPOS-LHC (QGSJetII-04), with a corresponding excess of muons
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Volume117
Publication statusPublished - 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy

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