Astrophysics (Index)About

air shower

(particles and EMR generated in the atmosphere incoming particle or EMR)

An air shower is a "shower" of ionized particles and photons resulting from the interaction of a very high-energy photon or other particle with the atmosphere, such as a cosmic ray or gamma ray entering Earth atmosphere. Interaction with an air molecule results in multiple lower-energy particles and photons, and if they are also of sufficient energy, a chain-reaction takes place, producing a "shower". The atmosphere is essentially acting as a scintillator. The resulting reduced-energy particles can reach the ground, and ground-based detectors spread to record the pattern of the air shower can yield data that can be analyzed to determine characteristics of the original particle or ray.

(cosmic rays,gamma rays,photons)
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Referenced by pages:
Cherenkov detector