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Testing Hadronic Interactions at Ultrahigh Energies with Air Showers Measured by the Pierre Auger Observatory

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      Abstract

      Ultrahigh energy cosmic ray air showers probe particle physics at energies beyond the reach of accelerators. Here we introduce a new method to test hadronic interaction models without relying on the absolute energy calibration, and apply it to events with primary energy 6-16 EeV (E_CM = 110-170 TeV), whose longitudinal development and lateral distribution were simultaneously measured by the Pierre Auger Observatory. The average hadronic shower is 1.33 +- 0.16 (1.61 +- 0.21) times larger than predicted using the leading LHC-tuned models EPOS-LHC (QGSJetII-04), with a corresponding excess of muons.

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      Journal
      2016-10-26
      1610.08509

      http://arxiv.org/licenses/nonexclusive-distrib/1.0/

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      Phys. Rev. Lett. to appear Oct. 31, 2016 in volume 117, page 192001
      hep-ex astro-ph.HE hep-ph

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