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Title: Depth of maximum of air-shower profiles at the Pierre Auger Observatory. I. Measurements at energies above $$10^{17.8}$$ eV

We report a study of the distributions of the depth of maximum, Xmax, of extensive air-shower profiles with energies above 1017.8 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 parametrizations thereof as a function of energy. Finally, 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.
Authors:
 [1]
  1. Univ. of Siegen (Germany). et al.
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1234846
Report Number(s):
FERMILAB-PUB--14-348-AD-AE-CD-TD
Journal ID: ISSN 1550-7998; arXiv eprint number arXiv:1409.4809
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-07CH11359
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physical Review. D, Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 90; Journal Issue: 12; Journal ID: ISSN 1550-7998
Publisher:
American Physical Society (APS)
Research Org:
Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (FNAL), Batavia, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), High Energy Physics (HEP) (SC-25)
Contributing Orgs:
Pierre Auger Collaboration
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS