The highest-energy cosmic-rays – the past, the present and the future
School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
* Corresponding author: email@example.com
Published online: 17 May 2019
The greater part of this paper is concerned with a historical discussion of the development of the search for the origins of the highest-energy cosmic-rays together with a few remarks about future prospects.
Additionally, in section 6, the situation with regard to the mass composition and energy spectrum at the highest energies is discussed. It is shown that the change of the depth of shower maximum with energy above 1 EeV, measured using the Telescope Array, is in striking agreement with similar results from the Auger Observatory. This implies that either the mean mass of cosmic rays is becoming heavier above ~4 EeV or that there is a change in details of the hadronic interactions in a manner such that protons masquerade as heavier nuclei. A long-standing controversy is thus resolved: the belief that pure protons dominate the mass distribution at the highest energies is no longer tenable.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2019
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