Background radioactivity in the scaler mode technique of the Argo-YBJ detector
31 Aug 2011
1Dipartimento di Fisica Nucleare e Teorica, Universita' di Pavia, Via Bassi 6, 27100 Pavia, Italy
2Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Sezione di Pavia, Via Bassi 6 , 27100 Pavia, Italy
Abstract. ARGO-YBJ is an extensive air shower detector located at the Yangbajing Cosmic Ray Laboratory (4300 m a.s.l., 606 g cm−2 atmospheric depth, Tibet, China). It is made by a single layer of Resistive Plate Chambers (RPCs, total surface ~6700 m2) grouped into 153 units called "clusters". The low energy threshold of the experiment is obtained using the "scaler operation mode", counting all the particles hitting the detector without reconstruction of the shower size and arrival direction. For each cluster the signals generated by these particles are put in coincidence in a narrow time window (150 ns) and read by four independent scaler channels, giving the counting rates of channel ≥1, ≥2, ≥3 and ≥4 hits. The study of these counting rates pointed out a different behavior of channel ≥1 respect to the higher multiplicity channels: while the MC simulations can account fairly well for the coincident counting rates, the expectation for channel ≥1 is sensibly less than the measured value. Moreover, the regression coefficient with the atmospheric pressure for channel ≥1 is also about half of the value measured for the coincident counting rates: seemingly half of these counts did not cross the atmosphere.Measurements of the natural radioactivity background in the air of the detector hall and a MC simulation to estimate its contribution on our counting rates are presented and discussed.