Cosmic-ray spectra of primary protons and high altitude muons deconvolved from observed atmospheric gamma rays

Kenji Yoshida, R. Ohmori, T. Kobayashi, Y. Komori, Y. Sato, J. Nishimura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We have observed atmospheric gamma rays from 30 GeV to 8 TeV, using emulsion chambers at balloon altitudes, accumulating the largest total exposure in this energy range to date, SΩT∼6.66m2srday. At very high altitudes, with residual overburden only a few gcm-2, atmospheric gamma rays are mainly produced by a single interaction of primary cosmic rays with overlying atmospheric nuclei. Thus, we can use these gamma rays to study the spectrum of primary cosmic rays and their products in the atmosphere. From the observed atmospheric gamma-ray spectrum, we deconvolved the primary cosmic-ray proton spectrum, assuming appropriate hadronic interaction models. Our deconvolved proton spectrum covers the energy range from 200 GeV to 50 TeV, which fills a gap in the currently available primary cosmic-ray proton spectra. We also estimated the atmospheric muon spectrum above 30 GeV at high altitude from our gamma-ray spectrum, almost without reference to the primary cosmic rays, and compared the estimated flux with direct muon observations below 20 GeV.

Original languageEnglish
Article number083511
JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Volume74
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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primary cosmic rays
high altitude
muons
cosmic rays
gamma rays
protons
gamma ray spectra
balloons
emulsions
chambers
interactions
atmospheres
nuclei
energy
products

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Mathematical Physics

Cite this

Cosmic-ray spectra of primary protons and high altitude muons deconvolved from observed atmospheric gamma rays. / Yoshida, Kenji; Ohmori, R.; Kobayashi, T.; Komori, Y.; Sato, Y.; Nishimura, J.

In: Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology, Vol. 74, No. 8, 083511, 2006.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Komori, Y.

AU - Sato, Y.

AU - Nishimura, J.

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AB - We have observed atmospheric gamma rays from 30 GeV to 8 TeV, using emulsion chambers at balloon altitudes, accumulating the largest total exposure in this energy range to date, SΩT∼6.66m2srday. At very high altitudes, with residual overburden only a few gcm-2, atmospheric gamma rays are mainly produced by a single interaction of primary cosmic rays with overlying atmospheric nuclei. Thus, we can use these gamma rays to study the spectrum of primary cosmic rays and their products in the atmosphere. From the observed atmospheric gamma-ray spectrum, we deconvolved the primary cosmic-ray proton spectrum, assuming appropriate hadronic interaction models. Our deconvolved proton spectrum covers the energy range from 200 GeV to 50 TeV, which fills a gap in the currently available primary cosmic-ray proton spectra. We also estimated the atmospheric muon spectrum above 30 GeV at high altitude from our gamma-ray spectrum, almost without reference to the primary cosmic rays, and compared the estimated flux with direct muon observations below 20 GeV.

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