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Durham University

Department of Physics

Staff profile

Publication details for Prof Sir Arnold Wolfendale

Erlykin, AD & Wolfendale, AW (2002). Properties of cosmic ray interactions at PeV energies. Astroparticle Physics 18(2): 151-164.
  • Publication type: Journal Article
  • ISSN/ISBN: 0927-6505
  • Keywords: cosmic rays; high energy interactions; energy balance; inelasticity;depth of maximumCHEMICAL-COMPOSITION; MASS COMPOSITION; AIR SHOWERS; SPECTRUM; KNEE;ANISOTROPIES; COLLISIONS; MODELS; EAS

Author(s) from Durham


An analysis has been made of the present situation with the high energy
hadron-nucleus and nucleus-nucleus interaction models. As is already
known there are inconsistencies in the interpretation of experimental
data on the primary mass composition, which appear when different EAS
components are used for the analyses, even for the same experiment. In
the absence of obvious experimental defects, there is a clear need for
an improvement to the existing models; we argue that the most promising
way is to introduce two effects which should be present in
nucleus-nucleus collisions and have not been allowed for before. These
are: a few percent energy transfer into the EAS electromagnetic
component due to electron-positron pair production or electromagnetic
radiation of quark-gluon plasma and a small slow-down of the cascading
process in its initial stages associated with the extended lifetime of
excited nuclear fragments. The latter process displaces the shower
maximum deeper into the atmosphere. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All
rights reserved.