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Title: Interactions of cosmic rays in the atmosphere: growth curves revisited

Measurements of cosmic-ray abundances on balloons are affected by interactions in the residual atmosphere above the balloon. Corrections for such interactions are particularly important for observations of rare secondary particles such as boron, antiprotons, and positrons. These corrections either can be calculated if the relevant cross sections in the atmosphere are known or may be empirically determined by extrapolation of the 'growth curves', i.e., the individual particle intensities as functions of atmospheric depth. The growth-curve technique is particularly attractive for long-duration balloon flights where the periodic daily altitude variations permit rather precise determinations of the corresponding particle intensity variations. We determine growth curves for nuclei from boron (Z = 5) to iron (Z = 26) using data from the 2006 Arctic balloon flight of the TRACER detector for cosmic-ray nuclei, and we compare the growth curves with predictions from published cross section values. In general, good agreement is observed. We then study the boron/carbon abundance ratio and derive a simple and energy-independent correction term for this ratio. We emphasize that the growth-curve technique can be developed further to provide highly accurate tests of published interaction cross section values.
Authors:
; ;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. Enrico Fermi Institute, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637 (United States)
  2. Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, 6525-HP Nijmegen (Netherlands)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22341973
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 778; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ABUNDANCE; ANTIPROTONS; ATMOSPHERES; CARBON; CORRECTIONS; COSMIC RADIATION; COSMIC RAY DETECTION; COSMOLOGY; CROSS SECTIONS; DATA; EXTRAPOLATION; INTERACTIONS; NUCLEAR REACTIONS; NUCLEOSYNTHESIS; PARTICLES; PERIODICITY; POSITRONS