Working Group Report on the Combined Analysis of Muon Density Measurements from Eight Air Shower Experiments
2019 July 22
We present a meta-analysis of recent muon density measurements made by eight air shower experiments which cover shower energies ranging from PeV to tens of EeV regarding the muon puzzle in extensive air showers. Some experimental analyses reported deviations between recorded and simulated muon densities in extensive air showers, and others reported no discrepancies. Comparisons between experiments were made using a universal reference scale based on the relative difference to simulated proton and iron initiated air showers. We have applied a cross-calibration of energy scales between experiments based on the isotropic flux of cosmic rays as a reference. Above 10 PeV, most experimental data show a muon excess with respect to simulated air showers, including those performed with the recent post-LHC high-energy interaction models. The discrepancy increases with the shower energy with a slope 8 sigma away from the predictions by EPOS-LHC and QGSJet-II.04. The effect of measurements being made at different zenith angles and energy threshold of muons across different experiments will be addressed.