Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2440/37769
Type: Thesis
Title: The lateral distribution of Cerenkov light from extensive air showers
Author: Dawson, Bruce Robert
Issue Date: 1985
School/Discipline: Dept. of Physics
Abstract: Investigations of the cosmic ray flux around the " knee " in the all - particle energy spectrum can provide information on the origin of this steepening. Studies of air shower development in this region are especially informative, although experiments in recent years have produced some conflicting results. Some report an unusually rapid development of showers, which has been interpreted in terms of an increased proportion of heavy nuclei in the flux, compared with the directly measured low energy composition. This thesis describes measurements of the lateral distribution of Cerenkov light associated with air showers with sea level sizes between ~ 10 ^ and 1O7 particles. It is shown that the slope of the lateral distribution is sensitive to air shower development and that the shape is in agreement with the results of recent calculations. These calculations are used to assign depths of maximum to the showers observed. A comprehensive simulation of the selection biases present in the experiment is used in the interpretation of the results on the depth of shower maximum. The data are shown to be consistent with a cosmic ray composition rich in iron in the energy region studied.
Advisor: Prescott, John Russell
Dissertation Note: Thesis (Ph.D.) -- University of Adelaide, Dept. of Physics, 1985
Keywords: Cerenkov radiation, cosmic ray showers
Provenance: This electronic version is made publicly available by the University of Adelaide in accordance with its open access policy for student theses. Copyright in this thesis remains with the author. This thesis may incorporate third party material which has been used by the author pursuant to Fair Dealing exception. If you are the author of this thesis and do not wish it to be made publicly available or If you are the owner of any included third party copyright material you wish to be removed from this electronic version, please complete the take down form located at: http://www.adelaide.edu.au/legals
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