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Search for photons above ▫$10^19$▫ eV with the surface detector of the Pierre Auger Observatory
P. Abreu, Andrej Filipčič, Jon Paul Lundquist, Shima Ujjani Shivashankara, Samo Stanič, Serguei Vorobiov, Danilo Zavrtanik, Marko Zavrtanik, Lukas Zehrer, 2023, original scientific article

Abstract: We use the surface detector of the Pierre Auger Observatory to search for air showers initiated by photons with an energy above 10[sup]19 eV. Photons in the zenith angle range from 30 deg. to 60 deg. can be identified in the overwhelming background of showers initiated by charged cosmic rays through the broader time structure of the signals induced in the water-Cherenkov detectors of the array and the steeper lateral distribution of shower particles reaching ground. Applying the search method to data collected between January 2004 and June 2020, upper limits at 95% CL are set to an E[sup]-2 diffuse flux of ultra-high energy photons above 10[sup]19 eV, 2 × 10[sup]19 eV and 4 × 10[sup]19 eV amounting to 2.11 × 10[sup]-3, 3.12 × 10[sup]-4 and 1.72 × 10[sup]-4 km-2 sr-1 yr-1, respectively. While the sensitivity of the present search around 2 × 10[sup]19 eV approaches expectations of cosmogenic photon fluxes in the case of a pure-proton composition, it is one order of magnitude above those from more realistic mixed-composition models. The inferred limits have also implications for the search of super-heavy dark matter that are discussed and illustrated.
Keywords: ultra-high-energy cosmic rays, UHE photons, Pierre Auger Observatory, extensive air showers, water Cherenkov detectors
Published in RUNG: 18.08.2023; Views: 1000; Downloads: 12
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Searches for Ultra-High-Energy Photons at the Pierre Auger Observatory
P. Abreu, Andrej Filipčič, Jon Paul Lundquist, Shima Ujjani Shivashankara, Samo Stanič, Serguei Vorobiov, Danilo Zavrtanik, Marko Zavrtanik, Lukas Zehrer, 2022, review article

Abstract: The Pierre Auger Observatory, being the largest air-shower experiment in the world, offers an unprecedented exposure to neutral particles at the highest energies. Since the start of data taking more than 18 years ago, various searches for ultra-high-energy (UHE, E > 10[sup]17 eV) photons have been performed: either for a diffuse flux of UHE photons, for point sources of UHE photons or for UHE photons associated with transient events like gravitational wave events. In the present paper, we summarize these searches and review the current results obtained using the wealth of data collected by the Pierre Auger Observatory.
Keywords: photons, ultra-high energies, air showers, Pierre Auger Observatory, upper limits, transients
Published in RUNG: 03.01.2023; Views: 1680; Downloads: 0
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