Lateral distribution of vertical and inclined showers during thunderstorms
July 02, 2021
Ground-based cosmic ray observatories generally record the information on the arrival time and location of each hit to reconstruct the primary direction of the shower event. During thunderstorms, the directions of cosmic rays are changed due to the acceleration and deceleration of the particles when they cross layers of electric field. The thunderstorm field also has a secondary effect on the photons generated via bremsstrahlung, emitted by the high-energy positrons and electrons. So, the lateral distribution of ground cosmic rays could be influenced in thunderstorm electric field. In this work, we performed Monte Carlo simulations by using CORSIKA to study the effects of near-earth thunderstorms electric field on the lateral distribution of vertical and inclined showers at LHAASO (4410 m a. s. 1., Daocheng, China). We found the lateral distribution of secondary positrons, electrons and photons changed in field. The variation amplitude is not only dependent on electric field, but also highly correlated with the direction of the shower event. Our simulation results are useful to understand the acceleration mechanisms of secondary particles caused by an atmospheric electric field, as well as the experimental data obtained by ground-based detectors (such as LHAASO, ARGO-YBJ).
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