Cosmic ray physics with the ARGO-YBJ experiment
19 Apr 2011
INFN – Sezione di Lecce, via Arnesano, 73100 Lecce, Italy
Abstract. The main scientific goals of the ARGO-YBJ experiment are γ-ray astronomy with a few hundreds GeV energy threshold and cosmic ray physics below and around the knee of the primary energy spectrum (1012–1016 eV), where the transition from direct to indirect measurement techniques takes place. The ARGO-YBJ experiment, located at the Cosmic Ray Observatory of Yangbajing (Tibet, P.R. of China, 4 300 m a.s.l.), is an unconventional Extensive Air Shower array of about 6,700 m2 of active area, the only one exploiting the full-coverage technique at very high altitude currently in operation. The detector space-time granularity, performance and location offer a unique chance to make a detailed study of the structure of cosmic ray showers, in particular of the hadronic component. In this work we will focus on the main experimental results concerning cosmic ray and hadronic interaction physics: primary cosmic ray energy spectrum, antiproton over proton ratio, anisotropy in the cosmic ray flux and proton-air cross-section. Moreover, the possible data analysis improvements based on the use of all detailed information on the shower front (curvature, time width, rise time, ..), as well as the extension of the investigable energy range, allowed by the analog RPC readout, will be pointed out.