Monday, July 29, 2013

1307.7131 (Jeffrey Allen et al.)

Testing models of new physics with UHE air shower observations    [PDF]

Jeffrey Allen, Glennys Farrar
Several air shower observatories have established that the number of muons produced in UHE air showers is significantly larger than that predicted by models. We argue that the only solution to this muon deficit, compatible with the observed Xmax distributions, is to reduce the transfer of energy from the hadronic shower into the EM shower, by reducing the production or decay of pi0s. We present four different models of new physics, each with a theoretical rationale, which can accomplish this. One has a pure proton composition and three have mixed composition. Two entail new particle physics and suppress pi0 production or decay above LHC energies. The other two are less radical but nonetheless require significant modifications to existing hadron production models -- in one the changes are only above LHC energies and in the other the changes extend to much lower energies. We show that the models have distinctively different predictions for the correlation between the number of muons at ground and Xmax in hybrid events, so that with future hybrid data it should be possible to discriminate between models of new physics and disentangle the particle physics from composition.
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