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Title: Observation of multiple-muon seasonal variations in the NOνA Near Detector

Abstract

The interaction of a cosmic ray particle with an element of the atmosphere results in a cascade of particles, known as extensive air showers, which can be divided into three main branches, known as the hadronic, the electromagnetic, and the muonic component. As for the latter, since muons can reach high depths underground, they are generally used to study cosmic rays at different underground depths. The dynamics of extensive air showers is directly connected to the density of the atmosphere, as it defines the probability of particles to decay or interact. As muons are mainly produced from the decay of pions and kaons, and a warmer atmosphere results in higher number of meson decays, such particles are prone to suffer a seasonality effect that is directly correlated to the yearly seasonal variations of the atmosphere, an effect that has been verified by a large number of experiments over the past six decades. In 2015 the MINOS experiment presented an anti-correlation between the effective temperature of the atmosphere and the seasonality of the muon flux for multiplicities higher than one (i.e. more than one muon track per cosmic ray event). Said anti-correlation is not yet fully understood, counting with only a qualitative hypothesis as a probable mechanism. As such, the main goals of this study are to verify the MINOS anti-correlation effect and extend the study to verify the seasonality of the effect as a function of different variables in order to improve the understanding of the phenomenon and possible corroborations with the known hypothesis. Two full years of the NO$$\nu$$A Near Detector, ranging from April 2015 to April 2017, were used as the dataset for the analysis. The anti-correlation between the multiple muon flux and the effective temperature of the atmosphere is confirmed by the NO$$\nu$$A Near Detector, being in full agreement with the results presented by the MINOS Collaboration. The seasonal effect is also broken down by different variables: i) track separation, ii) zenith angle, iii) track angular separation, and iv) multiplicity. Different regions of these variables represent different energy ranges for the detected underground muons, their hadron parents or the primary particles that originated the cosmic ray shower, being a way to verify any particular dependency with energy. The results show that there are no clear trends in any of the studied variables, except for the multiplicity, in which the intensity of the seasonal variation increases for higher multiplicities.

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Fermi National Accelerator Lab. (FNAL), Batavia, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), High Energy Physics (HEP) (SC-25)
OSTI Identifier:
1468447
Report Number(s):
FERMILAB-THESIS-2018-13
1692030
DOE Contract Number:  
AC02-07CH11359
Resource Type:
Thesis/Dissertation
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
72 PHYSICS OF ELEMENTARY PARTICLES AND FIELDS

Citation Formats

None, None. Observation of multiple-muon seasonal variations in the NOνA Near Detector. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.2172/1468447.
None, None. Observation of multiple-muon seasonal variations in the NOνA Near Detector. United States. doi:10.2172/1468447.
None, None. Mon . "Observation of multiple-muon seasonal variations in the NOνA Near Detector". United States. doi:10.2172/1468447. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1468447.
@article{osti_1468447,
title = {Observation of multiple-muon seasonal variations in the NOνA Near Detector},
author = {None, None},
abstractNote = {The interaction of a cosmic ray particle with an element of the atmosphere results in a cascade of particles, known as extensive air showers, which can be divided into three main branches, known as the hadronic, the electromagnetic, and the muonic component. As for the latter, since muons can reach high depths underground, they are generally used to study cosmic rays at different underground depths. The dynamics of extensive air showers is directly connected to the density of the atmosphere, as it defines the probability of particles to decay or interact. As muons are mainly produced from the decay of pions and kaons, and a warmer atmosphere results in higher number of meson decays, such particles are prone to suffer a seasonality effect that is directly correlated to the yearly seasonal variations of the atmosphere, an effect that has been verified by a large number of experiments over the past six decades. In 2015 the MINOS experiment presented an anti-correlation between the effective temperature of the atmosphere and the seasonality of the muon flux for multiplicities higher than one (i.e. more than one muon track per cosmic ray event). Said anti-correlation is not yet fully understood, counting with only a qualitative hypothesis as a probable mechanism. As such, the main goals of this study are to verify the MINOS anti-correlation effect and extend the study to verify the seasonality of the effect as a function of different variables in order to improve the understanding of the phenomenon and possible corroborations with the known hypothesis. Two full years of the NO$\nu$A Near Detector, ranging from April 2015 to April 2017, were used as the dataset for the analysis. The anti-correlation between the multiple muon flux and the effective temperature of the atmosphere is confirmed by the NO$\nu$A Near Detector, being in full agreement with the results presented by the MINOS Collaboration. The seasonal effect is also broken down by different variables: i) track separation, ii) zenith angle, iii) track angular separation, and iv) multiplicity. Different regions of these variables represent different energy ranges for the detected underground muons, their hadron parents or the primary particles that originated the cosmic ray shower, being a way to verify any particular dependency with energy. The results show that there are no clear trends in any of the studied variables, except for the multiplicity, in which the intensity of the seasonal variation increases for higher multiplicities.},
doi = {10.2172/1468447},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {1}
}

Thesis/Dissertation:
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