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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2023
  2. Abstract Lorentz invariance violation (LIV) is often described by dispersion relations of the form E i 2  =  m i 2 + p i 2 +δ i,n E 2+n with delta different based on particle type i , with energy E , momentum p and rest mass m . Kinematics and energy thresholds of interactions are modified once the LIV terms become comparable to the squared masses of the particles involved. Thus, the strongest constraints on the LIV coefficients δ i,n tend to come from the highest energies. At sufficiently high energies, photons produced by cosmic ray interactions as theymore »propagate through the Universe could be subluminal and unattenuated over cosmological distances. Cosmic ray interactions can also be modified and lead to detectable fingerprints in the energy spectrum and mass composition observed on Earth. The data collected at the Pierre Auger Observatory are therefore possibly sensitive to both the electromagnetic and hadronic sectors of LIV. In this article, we explore these two sectors by comparing the energy spectrum and the composition of cosmic rays and the upper limits on the photon flux from the Pierre Auger Observatory with simulations including LIV. Constraints on LIV parameters depend strongly on the mass composition of cosmic rays at the highest energies. For the electromagnetic sector, while no constraints can be obtained in the absence of protons beyond 10 19 eV, we obtain δ γ,0  > -10 -21 , δ γ,1  > -10 -40 eV -1 and δ γ,2  > -10 -58 eV -2 in the case of a subdominant proton component up to 10 20 eV. For the hadronic sector, we study the best description of the data as a function of LIV coefficients and we derive constraints in the hadronic sector such as δ had,0  < 10 -19 , δ had,1  < 10 -38 eV -1 and δ had,2  < 10 -57 eV -2 at 5σ CL.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2023
  3. Abstract In this paper we report the first close, high-resolution observations of downward-directed terrestrial gamma-ray flashes (TGFs) detected by the large-area Telescope Array cosmic ray observatory, obtained in conjunction with broadband VHF interferometer and fast electric field change measurements of the parent discharge. The results show that the TGFs occur during strong initial breakdown pulses (IBPs) in the first few milliseconds of negative cloud-to-ground and low-altitude intracloud flashes, and that the IBPs are produced by a newly-identified streamer-based discharge process called fast negative breakdown. The observations indicate the relativistic runaway electron avalanches (RREAs) responsible for producing the TGFs are initiatedmore »by embedded spark-like transient conducting events (TCEs) within the fast streamer system, and potentially also by individual fast streamers themselves. The TCEs are inferred to be the cause of impulsive sub-pulses that are characteristic features of classic IBP sferics. Additional development of the avalanches would be facilitated by the enhanced electric field ahead of the advancing front of the fast negative breakdown. In addition to showing the nature of IBPs and their enigmatic sub-pulses, the observations also provide a possible explanation for the unsolved question of how the streamer to leader transition occurs during the initial negative breakdown, namely as a result of strong currents flowing in the final stage of successive IBPs, extending backward through both the IBP itself and the negative streamer breakdown preceding the IBP.« less
  4. Abstract We present a measurement of the cosmic-ray spectrum above 100 PeV using the part of the surface detector of the Pierre Auger Observatory that has a spacing of 750 m. An inflection of the spectrum is observed, confirming the presence of the so-called second-knee feature. The spectrum is then combined with that of the 1500 m array to produce a single measurement of the flux, linking this spectral feature with the three additional breaks at the highest energies. The combined spectrum, with an energy scale set calorimetrically via fluorescence telescopes and using a single detector type, results in the most statistically andmore »systematically precise measurement of spectral breaks yet obtained. These measurements are critical for furthering our understanding of the highest energy cosmic rays.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 1, 2022
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