Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Chemical composition of primary cosmic rays with IceCube
by Xu, Chen, Ph.D., University of Delaware, 2012, 217; 3499882
Abstract (Summary)

Ground detector arrays have been used to measure high energy cosmic rays for decades to overcome their very low rate. IceCube is a special case with its 3D deployment and unique location—the South Pole. Although all 86 strings and 81 stations of IceCube were completed in 2011, IceCube began to take data in 2006, after the completion of the first 9 strings. In this thesis, experimental data taken in 2009 with 59 strings are used for composition analysis albeit some techniques are illustrated with the 40-string data.

Simulation is essential in the composition work. Simulated data must be compared against the experimental data to find the right mix of cosmic ray components. However, because of limited computing resources and complexities of cosmic rays, the simulation in IceCube is well behind the experiment. The lower and upper bounds of primary energy in simulation for events that go through IceTop and the deep arrays of IceCube are 1014 eV and 1017 eV. However, since IceCube has a threshold energy about several hundred TeV, and an upper limit of 10 18 eV, the full energy range cannot be explored in this thesis.

The approach taken to the composition problem in this thesis is a 2D Bayesian unfolding. It takes account of the measured IceTop and InIce energy spectrum and outputs the expected primary energy spectrum of different mass components. Studies of the uncertainties in the results are not complete because of limited simulation and understanding of the new detector and South Pole environment.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Gaisser, Thomas
Commitee: Gizis, John, Rossi, Louis, Seckel, David, Stanev, Todor
School: University of Delaware
Department: Department of Physics and Astronomy
School Location: United States -- Delaware
Source: DAI-B 73/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Atmospheric Chemistry, Astrophysics, Astronomy
Keywords: Chemical composition, Cosmic rays, Icecube, South pole
Publication Number: 3499882
ISBN: 9781267249647
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