PoS - Proceedings of Science
Volume 444 - 38th International Cosmic Ray Conference (ICRC2023) - Cosmic-Ray Physics (Indirect, CRI)
Sibyll$^\bigstar$: ad-hoc modifications for an improved description of muon data in extensive air showers
Presented by F. Riehn*  on behalf of R. Engel and A. Fedynitch
Full text: pdf
Pre-published on: July 25, 2023
Published on:
Current simulations of air showers produced by ultra-high energy cosmic rays (UHECRs) do not
satisfactorily describe recent experimental data, particularly when looking at the muonic shower
component relative to the electromagnetic one. Discrepancies can be seen in both average values
and on an individual shower-by-shower basis. It is thought that the muonic part of the air showers
isn’t accurately represented in simulations, despite various attempts to boost the number of muons
within standard hadronic interaction physics. In this study, we investigate whether modifying the
final state of events created with Sibyll 2.3d in air shower simulations can achieve a more consistent
description of the muon content observed in experimental data. We create several scenarios where
we separately increase the production of baryons, $\rho^0$ , and strange particles to examine their impact
on realistic air shower simulations. Our results suggest that these ad-hoc modifications can improve
the simulations, providing a closer match to the observed muon content in air showers. One side-
effect of the increased muon production in the considered model versions is a smaller difference in
the predicted total muon numbers for proton and iron showers. However, more research is needed
to find out whether any of these adjustments offers a realistic solution to the mismatches seen in
data, and to identify the precise physical process causing these changes in the model. We hope that
these modified model versions will also help to develop improved machine-learning analyses of
air shower data and to estimate sys. uncertainties related to shortcomings of hadronic interaction
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22323/1.444.0429
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