Thursday, June 27, 2013

1306.6283 (The KASCADE-Grande Collaboration et al.)

KASCADE-Grande measurements of energy spectra for elemental groups of cosmic rays    [PDF]

The KASCADE-Grande Collaboration, :, W. D. Apel, J. C. Arteaga-Velàzquez, K. Bekk, M. Bertaina, J. Blümer, H. Bozdog, I. M. Brancus, E. Cantoni, A. Chiavassa, F. Cossavella, K. Daumiller, V. de Souza, F. Di Pierro, P. Doll, R. Engel, J. Engler, M. Finger, B. Fuchs, D. Fuhrmann, H. J. Gils, R. Glasstetter, C. Grupen, A. Haungs, D. Heck, J. R. Hörandel, D. Huber, T. Huege, K. -H. Kampert, D. Kang, H. O. Klages, K. Link, P. Łuczak, M. Ludwig, H. J. Mathes, H. J. Mayer, M. Melissas, J. Milke, B. Mitrica, C. Morello, J. Oehlschläger, S. Ostapchenko, N. Palmieri, M. Petcu, T. Pierog, H. Rebel, M. Roth, H. Schieler, S. Schoo, F. G. Schröder, O. Sima, G. Toma, G. C. Trinchero, H. Ulrich, A. Weindl, J. Wochele, M. Wommer, J. Zabierowski
The KASCADE-Grande air shower experiment [W. Apel, et al. (KASCADE-Grande collaboration), Nucl. Instrum. Methods A 620 (2010) 202] consists of, among others, a large scintillator array for measurements of charged particles, Nch, and of an array of shielded scintillation counters used for muon counting, Nmu. KASCADE-Grande is optimized for cosmic ray measurements in the energy range 10 PeV to about 2000 PeV, where exploring the composition is of fundamental importance for understanding the transition from galactic to extragalactic origin of cosmic rays. Following earlier studies of the all-particle and the elemental spectra reconstructed in the knee energy range from KASCADE data [T. Antoni, et al. (KASCADE collaboration), Astropart. Phys. 24 (2005) 1], we have now extended these measurements to beyond 200 PeV. By analysing the two-dimensional shower size spectrum Nch vs. Nmu for nearly vertical events, we reconstruct the energy spectra of different mass groups by means of unfolding methods over an energy range where the detector is fully efficient. The procedure and its results, which are derived based on the hadronic interaction model QGSJET-II-02 and which yield a strong indication for a dominance of heavy mass groups in the covered energy range and for a knee-like structure in the iron spectrum at around 80 PeV, are presented. This confirms and further refines the results obtained by other analyses of KASCADE-Grande data, which already gave evidence for a knee-like structure in the heavy component of cosmic rays at about 80 PeV [W. Apel, et al. (KASCADE-Grande collaboration), Phys. Rev. Lett. 107 (2011) 171104].
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