Observation of muon intensity variations by season with the MINOS far detector

Adamson, P, Andreopoulos, C, Arms, K.E, Armstrong, R, Auty, D J, Ayres, D.S, Backhouse, C, Devenish, N E, Falk, E, Harris, P G, Hartnell, J, Smith, C and et el, (2010) Observation of muon intensity variations by season with the MINOS far detector. Physical Review D, D81 (1). 012001. ISSN 1550-7998

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The temperature of the upper atmosphere affects the height of primary cosmic ray interactions and the production of high-energy cosmic ray muons which can be detected deep underground. The MINOS far detector at Soudan MN, USA, has collected over 67 million cosmic ray induced muons. The underground muon rate measured over a period of five years exhibits a 4% peak-to-peak seasonal variation which is highly correlated with the temperature in the upper atmosphere. The coefficient, $\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\alpha_T$, relating changes in the muon rate to changes in atmospheric temperature was found to be: $\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\alpha_T = 0.874 \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\pm 0.009$ (stat.) $\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\pm 0.010$ (syst.). Pions and kaons in the primary hadronic interactions of cosmic rays in the atmosphere contribute differently to $\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\alpha_T$ due to the different masses and lifetimes. This allows the measured value of $\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\alpha_T$ to be interpreted as a measurement of the K/$\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\pi$ ratio for $E_{p}\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\gtrsim$\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\unit[7]{TeV} of $0.13 \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\pm 0.08$, consistent with the expectation from collider experiments.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences > Physics and Astronomy
Depositing User: David Auty
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 19:40
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2017 05:40
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/21706

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