Astrophysics (Index)About

air shower

(particles and EMR generated in the atmosphere incoming particle or EMR)

An air shower is a "shower" of ionized particles and photons resulting from the interaction of a very high-energy photon or other particle with the atmosphere, such as a cosmic ray or gamma ray entering Earth atmosphere. Interaction with an air molecule results in multiple lower-energy particles and photons, and if they are also of sufficient energy, a chain-reaction takes place, producing a "shower". The atmosphere is essentially acting as a scintillator. The resulting reduced-energy particles can reach the ground, and ground-based detectors spread to record the pattern of the air shower can yield data that can be analyzed to determine characteristics of the original particle or ray.


(cosmic rays,gamma rays,photons)
Further reading:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_shower_(physics)

Referenced by pages:
Cherenkov detector

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