Cosmic ray spectrum of protons plus helium nuclei between 6 and 158 TeV from HAWC data

A. Albert, R. Alfaro, C. Alvarez, J. R. Angeles Camacho, J. C. Arteaga-Velázquez, K. P. Arunbabu, D. Avila Rojas, H. A. Ayala Solares, E. Belmont-Moreno, C. Brisbois, K. S. Caballero-Mora, T. Capistrán, A. Carramiñana, S. Casanova, U. Cotti, J. Cotzomi, E. De La Fuente, R. Diaz Hernandez, M. A. Duvernois, M. DurocherJ. C. Díaz-Vélez, C. Espinoza, N. Fraija, J. A. García-González, F. Garfias, M. M. González, J. A. Goodman, J. P. Harding, B. Hona, D. Huang, F. Hueyotl-Zahuantitla, P. Hüntemeyer, A. Iriarte, V. Joshi, D. Kieda, G. J. Kunde, A. Lara, W. H. Lee, H. León Vargas, J. T. Linnemann, A. L. Longinotti, G. Luis-Raya, K. Malone, O. Martinez, J. Martínez-Castro, J. A. Matthews, P. Miranda-Romagnoli, J. A. Morales-Soto, E. Moreno, M. Mostafá, A. Nayerhoda, L. Nellen, M. Newbold, R. Noriega-Papaqui, N. Omodei, E. G. Pérez-Pérez, C. D. Rho, D. Rosa-González, H. Salazar, F. Salesa Greus, A. Sandoval, J. Serna-Franco, A. J. Smith, R. W. Springer, K. Tollefson, I. Torres, R. Torres-Escobedo, F. Ureña-Mena, L. Villaseñor, X. Wang, E. Willox, H. Zhou, C. De León, J. D. Álvarez, G. B. Yodh, A. Zepeda

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14 Scopus citations


A measurement with high statistics of the differential energy spectrum of light elements in cosmic rays, in particular, of primary H plus He nuclei, is reported. The spectrum is presented in the energy range from 6 to 158 TeV per nucleus. Data was collected with the High Altitude Water Cherenkov (HAWC) Observatory between June 2015 and June 2019. The analysis was based on a Bayesian unfolding procedure, which was applied on a subsample of vertical HAWC data that was enriched to 82% of events induced by light nuclei. To achieve the mass separation, a cut on the lateral age of air shower data was set guided by predictions of CORSIKA/QGSJET-II-04 simulations. The measured spectrum is consistent with a broken power-law spectrum and shows a kneelike feature at around E=24.0-3.1+3.6 TeV, with a spectral index γ=-2.51±0.02 before the break and with γ=-2.83±0.02 above it. The feature has a statistical significance of 4.1σ. Within systematic uncertainties, the significance of the spectral break is 0.8σ.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number063021
JournalPhysical Review D
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 15 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


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