SLAC T-510 experiment for radio emission from particle showers: Detailed simulation study and interpretation

K. Bechtol, K. Belov, K. Borch, P. Chen, J. Clem, P. Gorham, C. Hast, T. Huege, R. Hyneman, K. Jobe, K. Kuwatani, J. Lam, T. C. Liu, K. Mulrey, J. Nam, C. Naudet, R. J. Nichol, C. Paciaroni, B. F. Rauch, A. Romero-WolfB. Rotter, D. Saltzberg, H. Schoorlemmer, D. Seckel, B. Strutt, A. Vieregg, C. Williams, S. Wissel, A. Zilles

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8 Scopus citations


Over the last several decades, radio detection of air showers has been widely used to detect ultrahigh-energy cosmic rays. We developed an experiment under controlled laboratory conditions at SLAC with which we measured the radio-frequency radiation from a charged particle shower produced by bunches of electrons as primaries with known energy. The shower took place in a target made of high density polyethylene located in a strong magnetic field. The experiment was designed so that Askaryan and magnetically-induced components of the radio emission could be measured independently. At the same time, we performed a detailed simulation of this experiment to predict the radio signal using two microscopic formalisms, endpoint and ZHS. In this paper, we present the simulation scheme and make a comparison with data characteristics such as linearity with magnetic field and amplitude. The simulations agree with the measurements within uncertainties and present a good description of the data. In particular, reflections within the target that accounted for the largest systematic uncertainties are addressed. The prediction of the amplitude of Askaryan emission agrees with measurements to within 5% for the endpoint formalism and 11% for the ZHS formalism. The amplitudes of magnetically-induced emission agree to within 5% for the endpoint formalism and less than 1% for the ZHS formalism. The agreement of the absolute scale of emission gives confidence in state-of-the-art air shower simulations which are based on the applied formalisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number063025
JournalPhysical Review D
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 15 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


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