Investigation of abnormal absorption of cosmic-ray hadrons in lead calorimeters
P.N.Lebedev Physical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia
2 Institute of Nuclear Physics, M.V.Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia
3 Institute for Nuclear Research of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia
4 Institute of Physics and Technology, Almaty, Republic of Kazakhstan
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Published online: 10 May 2019
A phenomenon of abnormally weak absorption of very high energy cosmic ray hadrons in thick lead blocks is discussed. This phenomenon was first observed in a Tien Shan high altitude experiment to study hadronic cores of extensive air showers (EAS) with a deep ionization calorimeter and encouraged researchers to introduce the hypothesis of the so-called long-flying or penetrating cosmic ray component. A similar effect was detected later with deep uniform lead X-ray emulsion chambers (XREC) at the Pamirs, which we discuss in detail. To establish the nature of the phenomenon we are have carried out dedicated experiments at the Tien Shan and at the Pamirs by exposing two-storey XRECs with large air gaps. According to detailed simulation of the chamber response, these experiments are very sensitive to the production of charmed hadrons in the forward kinematic region and can prove a hypothesis that the phenomenon under study can be explained on the assumption of very high values of charm particle production cross section at 〈ELab〉 ~ 75 TeV in the forward kinematic region at xLab ≳ 0.1 which are near the upper limit of recent results of collider experiments, i.e., σpp→c¯c ~ 8 mb. The same factor makes it possible to fit all the features of the experimental hadron absorption curve observed by means of deep uniform lead XRECs, including its bending at a depth of ~ 70 c.u.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2019
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