Measurement of the average shape of longitudinal profiles of cosmic-ray air showers at the Pierre Auger Observatory

Pierre Auger Collaboration, O. Scholten, A. M. van den Berg

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The profile of the longitudinal development of showers produced by ultra-high energy cosmic rays carries information related to the interaction properties of the primary particles with atmospheric nuclei. In this work, we present the first measurement of the average shower pro file in traversed atmospheric depth at the Pierre Auger Observatory. The shapes of profiles are well reproduced by the Gaisser-Hillas parametrization within the range studied, for E > 10(17.8) eV. A detailed analysis of the systematic uncertainties is performed using ten years of data and a full detector simulation. The average shape is quantified using two variables related to the width and asymmetry of the profile, and the results are compared with predictions of hadronic interaction models for different primary particles.

Original languageEnglish
Article number018
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar-2019


  • cosmic rays detectors
  • ultra high energy cosmic rays

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