Cosmic Ray Research
The high energy cosmic ray research group at the ”Physikalische Institut” was established in 1960, to pursue the study of ultrahigh energy (UHE) hadronic interactions well beyond the accelerator domain, and the exploration of the mass composition of the UHE component of the primary cosmic radiation (CR), using extensive air showers (EAS). In this highly complex process strong, electromagnetic and weak interactions occur, and can be studied.
This research topic was originally carried out in collaboration with the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen in connection with quark-hunt experiments, using UHE cosmic rays. The extreme complexity of the EAS process required major theoretical studies for the interpretation of the data, which led to the development of a large EAS simulation program system, known under the name of ASICO (Air shower SImulation and COrrelation). The highly structured program system is now being used by all large EAS experiments worldwide, and is available under the name CORSIKA from KIT at Karlsruhe, Germany, with a variety of new event generators developed by diﬀerent authors.
This work led to the prediction that the nucleon-antinucleon (NN) production cross section must rise very signiﬁcantly in the ≥TeV energy range. The result was conﬁrmed in 1972 by experiments at the CERN ISR (Intersecting Storage Ring) collider. NN production plays an important role in the EAS process for the energy transport.
In 1979 the Bernese EAS team established together with U.S. and Japanese groups the pioneering DUMAND (Deep Underwater Muon And Neutrino Detec-tor) project in Hawaii, whose aim it was to develop an experiment to search for the sources of the most energetic cosmic rays in galactic and extragalactic space, using neutrinos1. This project was terminated after the successful operation of a prototype system, and served as template for the giant IceCube neutrino telescope at Antarctica.
The scientiﬁc activities in the above mentioned ﬁelds produced over 130 publications, reviews, conference proceedings, and books. Some of the latter are re-garded today as standard reference manuals and tutorials, e.g.,
COSMIC RAYS AT EARTH: Researcher’s Reference Manual and Data Book. Peter K. F. Grieder (2001), 1112 pages, 543 ﬁgures. ISBN 0-444-50710-8. ELSEVIER, Amsterdam, London, New York, Tokyo.
EXTENSIVE AIR SHOWERS: High Energy Phenomena and Astrophysical Aspects. A Tutorial, Reference Manual and Data Book. Peter K. F. Grieder (2011), Vol. I & II (second print). 1113 pages, 688 ﬁgures. ISBN 978-3-540-76940-8. SPRINGER, Heidelberg, Dordrecht, London, New York.