Study of the ultrahigh-energy primary-cosmic-ray composition with the MACRO experiment

S. Ahlen, M. Ambrosio, R. Antolini, G. Auriemma, A. Baldini, B. B. Bam, G. C. Barbarino, B. C. Barish, G. Battistom, R. Bellotti, C. Bemporad, P. Bernardini, H. Bilokon, V. Bisi, C. Bloise, S. Bussino, F. Cafagna, M. Calicchio, P. Campana, D. CampanaM. Carboni, S. Cecchini, F. Cei, V. Chiarella, C. Chiera, A. Cobis, R. Cormack, A. Corona, S. Coutu, G. DeCataldo, C. DeMarzo, M. De Vincenzi, A. Di Credico, E. Diehl, O. Erriquez, C. Favuzzi, D. Ficenec, C. Forti, L. Foti, P. Fusco, G. Giacomelli, G. Giannini, N. Giglietto, P. Giubellino, M. Grassi, P. Green, A. Grillo, F. Guarino, C. Gustavino, A. Habig, R. Heinz, J. T. Hong, E. Iarocci, E. Katsavounidis, E. Kearns, S. Klein, S. Kyriazopoulou, E. Lamanna, C. Lane, C. Lee, D. Levin, P. Lipari, G. Liu, R. Liu, M. J. Longo, G. Ludlam, G. Mancarella, G. Mandrioli, A. Margiotta-Neri, A. Marin, A. Marini, D. Martello, G. Martellotti, A. Marzari Chiesa, M. Masera, P. Matteuzzi, D. G. Michael, L. Miller, P. Monacelli, M. Monteno, S. Mufson, J. Musser, S. Nutter, C. Okada, G. Osteria, O. Palamara, S. Parlati, V. Patera, L. Patrizii, R. Pazzi, C. W. Peck, J. Petrakis, S. Petrera, N. D. Pignatano, P. Pistilli, F. Predieri, L. Ramello, J. Reynoldson, F. Ronga, G. Rosa, C. Satriano, L. Satta, E. Scapparone, K. Scholberg, A. Sciubba, P. Serra Lugaresi, M. Severi, M. Sitta, P. Spinelli, M. Spinetti, M. Spurio, J. Steele, R. Steinberg, J. L. Stone, L. R. Sulak, A. Surdo, G. Tarlé, V. Togo, V. Valente, G. R. Verdone, C. W. Walter, R. Webb, W. Worstell

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42 Scopus citations


We present the analysis of multiple-muon events collected with one supermodule (1013 h live time) and two supermodules (1195 h live time) of the MACRO detector at Gran Sasso, Italy. Multimuon rates are shown to be sensitive to primary-cosmic-ray energies between 50 TeV and several thousand TeV. Experimental data are compared with the expected rates from two composition models: a light (i.e., proton-rich) and a heavy (i.e., Fe-rich) composition. The predictions are based on a Monte Carlo simulation of the hadronic interactions of cosmic-ray nuclei, followed by a detailed tracking of the muons through the rock and the experimental apparatus. The results show good sensitivity of the MACRO detector to primary composition. The data exhibit a preference towards the light composition model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)895-902
Number of pages8
JournalPhysical Review D
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1992

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


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