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Depth of Maximum of Air-Shower Profiles at the Pierre Auger Observatory. I. Measurements at energies above 10^17.8 eV

Abstract : We report a study of the distributions of the depth of maximum, Xmax, of extensive air-shower profiles with energies above 10^17.8 eV as observed with the fluorescence telescopes of the Pierre Auger Observatory. The analysis method for selecting a data sample with minimal sampling bias is described in detail as well as the experimental cross-checks and systematic uncertainties. Furthermore, we discuss the detector acceptance and the resolution of the Xmax measurement and provide parameterizations thereof as a function of energy. The energy dependence of the mean and standard deviation of the Xmax-distributions are compared to air-shower simulations for different nuclear primaries and interpreted in terms of the mean and variance of the logarithmic mass distribution at the top of the atmosphere.
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Submitted on : Thursday, September 18, 2014 - 10:58:51 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, September 16, 2020 - 4:27:36 PM

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A. Aab, Richard Dallier, F. Gate, Pascal Lautridou, J. Maller, et al.. Depth of Maximum of Air-Shower Profiles at the Pierre Auger Observatory. I. Measurements at energies above 10^17.8 eV. Physical Review D, American Physical Society, 2014, 90, pp.122005. ⟨10.1103/PhysRevD.90.122005⟩. ⟨in2p3-01065502⟩

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