A new physical phenomenon in ultra-high energy collisions

Glennys R. Farrar, Jeffrey D. Allen

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    Abstract

    We show that combining the published Pierre Auger Observatory measurements of the longitudinal and lateral properties of UHE atmospheric showers, points to an unforeseen change in the nature of particle interactions at ultrahigh energy. A "toy model" of UHE proton-air interactions is presented which provides the first fully consistent description of air shower observations. It demonstrates that the observed energy dependence of the depth-of-shower-maximum distribution may not indicate a transition to a heavier composition, as commonly assumed. While fundamentally phenomenological, the model is based on considerations of how the normal vacuum of QCD might be vaporized and chiral symmetry restored by the extreme energy densities produced in UHE collisions. Whatever its origin, understanding this unexpected phenomenon opens exciting directions in particle physics and may impact Early Universe cosmology.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationUHECR 2012 - International Symposium on Future Directions in UHECR Physics
    DOIs
    StatePublished - 2013
    Event2012 International Symposium on Future Directions in Ultra High Energy Cosmic Ray Physics, UHECR 2012 - Geneva, Switzerland
    Duration: Feb 13 2012Feb 16 2012

    Publication series

    NameEPJ Web of Conferences
    Volume53
    ISSN (Print)2101-6275
    ISSN (Electronic)2100-014X

    Other

    Other2012 International Symposium on Future Directions in Ultra High Energy Cosmic Ray Physics, UHECR 2012
    CountrySwitzerland
    CityGeneva
    Period2/13/122/16/12

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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