Measurement of the Radiation Energy in the Radio Signal of Extensive Air Showers as a Universal Estimator of Cosmic-Ray Energy

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Abstract

We measure the energy emitted by extensive air showers in the form of radio emission in the frequency range from 30 to 80 MHz. Exploiting the accurate energy scale of the Pierre Auger Observatory, we obtain a radiation energy of 15.8±0.7(stat)±6.7(syst)  MeV for cosmic rays with an energy of 1 EeV arriving perpendicularly to a geomagnetic field of 0.24 G, scaling quadratically with the cosmic-ray energy. A comparison with predictions from state-of-the-art first-principles calculations shows agreement with our measurement. The radiation energy provides direct access to the calorimetric energy in the electromagnetic cascade of extensive air showers. Comparison with our result thus allows the direct calibration of any cosmic-ray radio detector against the well-established energy scale of the Pierre Auger Observatory.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Numero di pagine9
RivistaPhysical Review Letters
Volume116
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2016

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