Special Issue "Symmetry in Cosmic Ray Detections"

A special issue of Symmetry (ISSN 2073-8994). This special issue belongs to the section "Physics and Symmetry/Asymmetry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 24 February 2023 | Viewed by 6947

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Tadeusz Wibig
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Physics and Applied Informatics, University of Lodz, 90-236 Lodz, 149/153 Pomorska, Poland
Interests: cosmic rays; extensive air showers; ultra-high-energy cosmic ray phenomena; small local shower arrays; networking of distant shower arrays; contemporary physics education

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The cosmic ray energy spectrum spans more than 10 decades and has a surprisingly (almost) constant power-law character. Understanding this fact and discovering the mechanisms generating the energy of the cosmic ray particles which constantly bombard Earth is one of the fundamental problems of modern physics. On the one hand, bigger and more sophisticated air shower arrays are being built and, on the other hand, there is a growing interest in the construction of small local detection stations which, apart from purely scientific purposes, have a great potential educational significance, satisfying young people's scientific curiosity and developing their interest in science, and particularly in physics.

This Special Issue will be dedicated to showing the specific similarities between the symmetry of experimental solutions from both edges of the cosmic ray energy spectrum. It can generate synergy effects; for example, the networking of local small shower arrays can be used to search for new physics in the highest energy region.

We are soliciting contributions (scientific and review articles) covering a wide range of topics related to the understood symmetry and related cosmic ray physics, including (but not limited to) the following:

  • The physics of the new phenomena we should be looking for at the high-energy end of the spectrum;
  • The possibility of experimentally searching for new physics in cosmic rays;
  • Ideas for networks of local (school-based) small shower arrays;
  • Results and experiences gained from measurements in the local small cosmic ray arrays;
  • New techniques for measuring extensive cosmic ray air showers in different energy ranges;
  • New (low-cost) techniques/detectors and ideas of cheap measuring cosmic ray shower particles;
  • Possible educational (and community) effects of implementing the local (school) cosmic ray array project on a wider scale.

Prof. Dr. Tadeusz Wibig
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Symmetry is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Cosmic rays
  • Extensive air showers
  • Ultra-high-energy cosmic ray phenomena
  • Small local shower arrays
  • Networking of distant shower arrays
  • Contemporary physics education

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Communication
The Astroparticle Detectors Array—An Educational Project in Cosmic Ray Physics
Symmetry 2023, 15(2), 294; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym15020294 - 20 Jan 2023
Viewed by 461
Abstract
ADA, short for Astroparticle Detectors Array, is an educational project aiming to detect cosmic radiation and possibly high-energy particles known as ultra-high-energy cosmic rays (UHECRs) or even to spot a supernova event. Its working process is the same as that used in professional [...] Read more.
ADA, short for Astroparticle Detectors Array, is an educational project aiming to detect cosmic radiation and possibly high-energy particles known as ultra-high-energy cosmic rays (UHECRs) or even to spot a supernova event. Its working process is the same as that used in professional cosmic ray observatories: it consists of simple detectors spread over the entire Italian territory and beyond. The detectors are hosted among high schools, associations, and private astronomical observatories. ADA has been operating since 2013 and was brought about with the intention of promoting astroparticle physics to any given level of outreach. Furthermore, ADA is becoming an interesting tool not only for teachers but also for independent and keen scientists. Over the years, we have discovered the importance of having a long series of data for studying the relation between and among cosmic rays, weather, and space weather and to investigate the main cause of oscillations in cosmic ray data. In this paper, we show what we find to be the most compelling results, such as the beautiful symmetry of the behavior between muons and the atmospheric temperature and, likewise, the evident anti-correlation between the intensity of the muons at ground level compared with solar activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Symmetry in Cosmic Ray Detections)
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Article
A New Method of Simulation of Cosmic-ray Ensembles Initiated by Synchrotron Radiation
Symmetry 2022, 14(10), 1961; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym14101961 - 20 Sep 2022
Viewed by 534
Abstract
Cosmic rays interact with fields and background radiation as they propagate in space, producing particle cascades of various sizes, shapes and constituents. The potential observation of at least parts of such phenomena, referred to as cosmic-ray ensembles (CRE), from Earth would open a [...] Read more.
Cosmic rays interact with fields and background radiation as they propagate in space, producing particle cascades of various sizes, shapes and constituents. The potential observation of at least parts of such phenomena, referred to as cosmic-ray ensembles (CRE), from Earth would open a new channel of cosmic-ray investigation, since it might be a manifestation of fundamental symmetries of nature. Research dedicated to CRE is one of the main scientific objectives of the Cosmic-Ray Extremely Distributed Observatory (CREDO) Collaboration, and with this article we address one of the cornerstones of the relevant scientific program: the simulation method dedicated to CRE studies. Here we focus on CRE resulting from synchrotron radiation by high energy electrons as one of the most prevalent energy loss processes. Providing the example of simulation output analysis, we demonstrate the advantages of our approach as well as discuss the possibility of generalization of current research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Symmetry in Cosmic Ray Detections)
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Article
First Results on the Revealing of Cognate Ancestors among the Particles of the Primary Cosmic Rays That Gave Rise to Extensive Air Showers Observed by the GELATICA Network
Symmetry 2022, 14(8), 1749; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym14081749 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 699
Abstract
For the data on the observation times and directions of the motion of extensive air showers, which are observed at two stations of the GELATICA network, for the first time we apply the method we have developed previously for identifying pairs of mutually [...] Read more.
For the data on the observation times and directions of the motion of extensive air showers, which are observed at two stations of the GELATICA network, for the first time we apply the method we have developed previously for identifying pairs of mutually remote extensive air showers, the ancestor particles of which arose, possibly, in a single process. A brief description of the GELATICA network, a review of the properties of used samples of data on shower observations at two stations of the network during the 2019–2021 session, and the result of applying the above method to them are given. Some properties of a single peculiar pair of remote showers are discussed. A side question arose about the cause of the observed temporal asymmetry in the locations of the regions of mutual approach of independent primary cosmic ray particles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Symmetry in Cosmic Ray Detections)
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Article
Symmetries in the Superposition Model of Extensive Air Shower Development
Symmetry 2022, 14(3), 559; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym14030559 - 11 Mar 2022
Viewed by 939
Abstract
According to the superposition principle, an extensive air shower initiated by a nucleus with energy E and mass number A can be approximated as the superposition of A proton-initiated showers each with energy E/A. The superposition principle for interactions of [...] Read more.
According to the superposition principle, an extensive air shower initiated by a nucleus with energy E and mass number A can be approximated as the superposition of A proton-initiated showers each with energy E/A. The superposition principle for interactions of atomic nuclei proposes to describe nucleus-initiated extensive air showers using simulations performed for proton showers. Single detectors and systems working in tight coincidence mainly register events initiated by particles with very low energies, which are affected by major statistical fluctuations, such as those used in high schools for education and outreach purposes. Verifying whether the superposition principle is still a good approximation in the low-energy region is important for the validity of the interpretation of such measurements. We present results of the comparison of results of the superposition model with detailed simulations of showers with the CORSIKA program from the energy of 10 GeV. While the energy dependence of the mean shower parameters satisfies the superposition principle, the higher moments do not. A modification of the superposition model based on the wounded nucleon model, reducing these discrepancies, is proposed. The semi-analytical description of showers in the modified superposition model can give the density spectrum of cosmic ray particles, which is consistent with the measurements. In this paper, we present results both consistent with the superposition model and indicating the need for its modification. This modification is proposed and tested. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Symmetry in Cosmic Ray Detections)
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Article
A Search for Cosmic Ray Bursts at 0.1 PeV with a Small Air Shower Array
Symmetry 2022, 14(3), 501; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym14030501 - 01 Mar 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1603
Abstract
The Cosmic Ray Extremely Distributed Observatory (CREDO) pursues a global research strategy dedicated to the search for correlated cosmic rays, so-called Cosmic Ray Ensembles (CRE). Its general approach to CRE detection does not involve any a priori considerations, and its search strategy encompasses [...] Read more.
The Cosmic Ray Extremely Distributed Observatory (CREDO) pursues a global research strategy dedicated to the search for correlated cosmic rays, so-called Cosmic Ray Ensembles (CRE). Its general approach to CRE detection does not involve any a priori considerations, and its search strategy encompasses both spatial and temporal correlations, on different scales. Here we search for time clustering of the cosmic ray events collected with a small sea-level extensive air shower array at the University of Adelaide. The array consists of seven one-square-metre scintillators enclosing an area of 10 m × 19 m. It has a threshold energy ~0.1 PeV, and records cosmic ray showers at a rate of ~6 mHz. We have examined event arrival times over a period of over 2.5 years in two equipment configurations (without and with GPS timing), recording ~300 k events and ~100 k events. We determined the event time spacing distributions between individual events and the distributions of time periods which contained specific numbers of multiple events. We find that the overall time distributions are as expected for random events. The distribution which was chosen a priori for particular study was for time periods covering five events (four spacings). Overall, these distributions fit closely with expectation, but there are two outliers of short burst periods in data for each configuration. One of these outliers contains eight events within 48 s. The physical characteristics of the array will be discussed together with the analysis procedure, including a comparison between the observed time distributions and expectation based on randomly arriving events. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Symmetry in Cosmic Ray Detections)
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Article
CREDO-Maze Cosmic Ray Mini-Array for Educational Purposes
Symmetry 2022, 14(3), 500; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym14030500 - 28 Feb 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 985
Abstract
In this paper, we present the concept of local networks of small extensive air shower arrays installed mainly in secondary schools. As part of the CREDO-Maze Project, we plan to equip as many schools as possible with sets of detectors capable of detecting [...] Read more.
In this paper, we present the concept of local networks of small extensive air shower arrays installed mainly in secondary schools. As part of the CREDO-Maze Project, we plan to equip as many schools as possible with sets of detectors capable of detecting extensive air showers and transmitting their data to the central CREDO Project server. The synergy of such a network will make it possible to create a CREDO "global detector" and carry out physical research sensu stricto, e.g., the search for the Gerasimova–Zatsepin effect or the Cosmic Ray Ensemble. The discovery of one or the other would have extremely important consequences for our understanding of the nature of very-high-energy cosmic rays. In this paper, we describe a prototype local mini-array built at our university and some of the results of the exemplary tests performed. The design of the station’s electronics and the small size of the detectors allow it to be used to perform, with the simple addition of software, also other tasks within physics circles and student projects. The mini-array consists of four small detectors, with a simple system for triggering, recording, and online communication with the world. The station is designed for autonomous and continuous operation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Symmetry in Cosmic Ray Detections)
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Article
Constraints on Cosmic Ray Acceleration Capabilities of Black Holes in X-ray Binaries and Active Galactic Nuclei
Symmetry 2022, 14(3), 482; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym14030482 - 26 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 693
Abstract
Rotating black holes (BHs) are likely the largest energy reservoirs in the Universe as predicted by BH thermodynamics, while cosmic rays (CRs) are the most energetic among particles detected on Earth. Magnetic fields surrounding BHs combined with strong gravity effects, thanks to the [...] Read more.
Rotating black holes (BHs) are likely the largest energy reservoirs in the Universe as predicted by BH thermodynamics, while cosmic rays (CRs) are the most energetic among particles detected on Earth. Magnetic fields surrounding BHs combined with strong gravity effects, thanks to the spacetime symmetries, turn the BHs into powerful accelerators of charged particles. At the same time, in the age of multi-wavelength and multi-messenger astronomy, BHs and their environments have not yet been probed with CR messengers, despite being observed across most of the electromagnetic spectrum, and neutrino and gravitational waves. In this paper, we probe the acceleration capabilities of BHs in 8 galactic X-ray binaries and 25 local active galactic nuclei (AGNs) within 100 Mpc, based on the ultra-efficient regime of the magnetic Penrose process of a BH energy extraction combined with observational data. We find that the maximum energy of the galactic BHs can reach only up to the knee of the CR spectrum, including supermassive BH Sgr A* at the Galactic Center. On the other hand, for supermassive BHs in AGNs, we find that the mean energy of primary CRs is of the order of 1019 eV. It is therefore likely that local supermassive BHs give sufficient contribution to the ankle—a sharp change in the slope of the cosmic ray spectrum around 1018.6 eV energy. We also discuss the energy losses of primary CRs close to the acceleration zones. In the galactic BH cases, it is likely dominated by synchrotron radiation losses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Symmetry in Cosmic Ray Detections)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: A search for cosmic ray bursts at 0.1 PeV with a small air shower array
Authors: Roger Clay; Jassimar Singh; Piotr Homola; Olaf Bar; Dmitry Beznosko; Apoorva Bhatt; Gopal Bhatta; Lukasz Bibrzycki; Nikolay Budnev; David E Alvarez-Castillo; Niraj Dhital; Alan R. Duffy; Dariusz Gora; Alok C. Gupta; Bartosz Lozowski; Mikhail V. Medvedev; Justyna Medrala; Justinya Miszczyk; Michal Niedzwiecki; Marcin Piekarczyk; Krzysztof Rzecki; Jilberto Zamora-Saa; Katarzyna Smelcerz; Karel Smolek; Tomasz Sosnicki; Jaroslaw Stasielak; Slawdomir Stuglik; Oleksandr Sushchov; Arman Tursunov
Affiliation: *University of Adelaide, North Terrace, Adelaide, South Australia 5005
Abstract: The Cosmic Ray Extremely Distributed Observatory (CREDO) pursues a global research strategy dedicated to the search for correlated cosmic rays, so-called Cosmic Ray Ensembles (CRE). Its general approach to CRE detection does not involve any a priori considerations and its search strategy encompasses both spatial and temporal correlations, on different scales. Here we search for time clustering of the cosmic ray events collected with a small sea-level extensive air shower array at the University of Adelaide. The array consists of seven one square metre scintillators enclosing an area of 10 m x 19 m. It has a threshold energy ~0.1 PeV, and records cosmic ray showers at a rate of ~6 mHz. We have examined event arrival times over a period of over two and a half years in two equipment configurations (without and with GPS timing), recording ~300k events and ~100k events. We determined the event time spacing distributions between individual events and the distributions of time periods which contained specific numbers of multiple events. We find that the overall time distributions are as expected for random events. The distribution which was chosen a priori for particular study was for time periods covering five events (four spacings). Overall, these distributions fit closely with expectation but there are two outliers of short ‘burst’ periods in data for each configuration. One of these outliers contains eight events within 48 seconds. The physical characteristics of the array will be discussed together with the analysis procedure, including a comparison between the observed time distributions and expectation based on randomly arriving events.

Title: CREDO-Maze cosmic ray mini-array for educational purposes
Authors: Tadeusz Wibig; Michał Karbowiak
Affiliation: Faculty of Physics and Applied Informatics, University of Lodz, Pomorska 149/153, 90-236 ódź, Poland.
Abstract: In attempt to satisfy young people’s scientific curiosity and develop their interest in science and in physics, modern physics in particular, to give them a real tool for investigating a phenomenon of cosmic rays, for the real observation of high energy elementary particles and for making real scientific observations, we have designed a ’minimal’ Extensive Air Shower local array that can serve these purposes. We plan to provide such arrays to as many schools as possible. Apart from the didactic ones, there are other important physical, scientific reasons for such a multiplication of detection stations. The symmetrical, uniform growth of the shower arrays is made possible by an ingenious structure of individual array providing easy and inherently obvious expandability of the whole network. A network of local mini-arrays, when it has reached an appropriate stage of development, will serve as a ’global detector’ for the search for, e.g., the Gerasimova-Zatsepin effect or Cosmic Ray Ensembles. The discovery of one or the other would have extremely important consequences for our understanding of the nature of very high energy cosmic rays. The quantitative expansion of the CREDO-Maze project forces to minimize the costs and to aim at maximal simplicity of the local mini-arrays. In this paper we describe the prototype local mini-array built at University of Lodz. It consists of four small scintillation detectors with SiPM diodes and simple trigger systems. The station is intended to work autonomously and continuously. The results are stored locally but also transmitted in packages to the central server of the CREDO Project, where they will be part of a larger data structure enabling the already mentioned physical research sensu stricto. The construction of the station electronics and the small size of the detectors allow to perform with them, after a simple software addition, other researches within the framework of physics circles and student projects. The paper will show the first test results of tests of the station. In this paper we will present some characteristics of our prototype detector.

Title: Symmetries in the superposition model of Extensive Air Shower development
Authors: Tadeusz Wibig
Affiliation: University of Lodz
Abstract: The cosmic ray flux, as we have known for almost a hundred years, includes, in addition to protons, complex atomic nuclei, up to and including iron, although we have the whole Mendeleev table there. The interaction of nuclei at very high energies is a very complex process, nevertheless from the very beginning it has been accepted that a nucleus consisting of A nucleons can be regarded with a fairly good approximation as a set of A independent and independently interacting nucleons. In this approximation, the Extensive Air Shower induced by cosmic ray iron nucleus should evolve as 56 proton showers. This symmetry makes it possible to attempt to describe Extensive Air Shower initiated by heavy nuclei in a simplified way, which greatly reduces the time needed for simulation calculations and theoretical analysis and comparison of models of shower development. The advancement of numerical methods and technologies enabling sophisticated calculations to be carried out in a reasonable amount of time has led to the development of extremely complex computer programs allowing Monte-Carlo simulations of electromagnetic-hadronic cascades which mimic the Extensive Air Shower to be performed with a high accuracy. These programs are continuously being expanded and improved and they make it possible to carry out calculations for primary energies exceeding 10$^{20}$eV, up to the highest energies observed in the Nature. On the other hand, there is a great interest recently in the calculations of showers with minimal energies reaching sizes counted in single electrons/muons on the observation level. At such low energies, these showers mostly fade out before they reach the ground level and thus what we observe are the tails of fluctuations and all observables become far from the average. Thus, the symmetry of the superposition model may not be adequate in describing these extremely small particle densities. In this paper we will present results both consistent with the superposition model and indicating the need for its modification. This modification will be proposed and tested.

Title: The pilot operation of the microNet (μNet) project
Authors: Michael Petropoulos; Apostolos Tsirigotis; Antonios Leisos
Affiliation: Physics Laboratory, School of Science and Technology, Hellenic Open University, Parodos Aristotelous 18, Perivola Patras, 26335, Greece
Abstract: μΝet aims for the deployment and long-term operation of an extensive school network of educational Cosmic Ray telescopes in the geographical area of Peloponnese. In the framework of μNet, an extended educational program will take place, encompassing educational activities for the construction, testing and operation of μCosmics (microCosmics) detectors, as well as for the remote operation of cosmic ray detection stations and astroparticle physics experimental devices deployed at the Hellenic Open University (HOU) campus. A pilot run of the μNet project started in 2020 aiming for the deployment and operation of a small school network in western Greece. In this report we present briefly the design of the μNet project and discuss the results and findings of the pilot run.

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