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Today's colloquium: Four years of detecting cosmic rays with LOFAR

Submitter: Anna Nelles (Radboud University Nijmegen)
Description: In June 2011 the first signal from an air shower was detected using LOFAR. Air showers are particle cascades in the atmosphere that are caused by very high energy cosmic rays (>1016 eV). The bulk of charged particles in the air showers causes radio emission, which can be measured as a nanosecond-timescale pulse using the LOFAR antennas.

Over the last four years, the members of the Cosmic Rays Key Science Project have not only made substantial progress in the understanding of the radio emission, but they have also gathered a lot of information about the LOFAR system and its performance. Both items will be summarised in this colloquium, with an emphasis on the current understanding of the radio emission of air showers and how it contributes to studies concerned with the origin of cosmic rays.

The image shows a LOFAR low-band antenna measurement of an air shower above the LOFAR Superterp. Good agreement between the data (shown by the circles) and simulations (shown by the background colours) is illustrated.
Copyright: AN & LOFAR Cosmic Rays KSP
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