Baryons in cosmic ray showers and the interaction depth

John Ellis*, Marek Karliner, D. N. Schramm

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Guided by a topological model of baryon production in high-energy collisions, we consider the qualitative effect of secondary baryon production in cosmic ray showers. We argue that the smaller range of baryons, relative to mesons, will tend to reduce the depth of the shower maximum Xmax without reducing the variation in this observable. This effect could reduce significantly the descrepancy between Fly's Eye data and existing cosmic ray shower Monte Carlo models for incoming protons, and we argue that this effect is unlikely to be washed out by the baryon energy spectrum being soft. We also comment on the likelihood of baryon-rich events mimicking the Centauro data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)282-286
Number of pages5
JournalPhysics Letters B
Issue number2
StatePublished - 13 Dec 1990


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