Jul 12 – 23, 2021
Europe/Berlin timezone

When heavy ions meet cosmic rays: potential impact of QGP formation on the muon puzzle

Jul 14, 2021, 6:00 PM
1h 30m


Talk CRI | Cosmic Ray Indirect Discussion


Tanguy Pierog (KIT, Karlsruhe)


The deficit of muons in the simulation of extensive air showers is a long-standing problem and the origin of large uncertainties in the reconstruction of the mass of the high energy primary cosmic rays. Hadronic interaction models, re-tuned after early LHC data, have a more consistent description of the muon content among them but still disagree with data. Collective hadronization due to the formation of a quark gluon plasma (QGP) has already been studied as a possible cause for a larger production of muons under extreme conditions (rare, very central nuclear interactions), but without real success. However, in the view of the most recent LHC data, a collective hadronization phase might not only be limited to such extreme conditions. And because of its different ratio of electromagnetic to hadronic energy, a QGP may have the properties to solve the muon puzzle. This hypothesis is demonstrated using a theoretical approach and tested in a realistic way by the modification of hadronic model spectra in CONEX to mimic the production of a QGP also in less extreme conditions with a possible large impact on air shower physics.


air shower; LHC; muon puzzle ; simulation;CONEX

Subcategory Theoretical Results

Primary author

Tanguy Pierog (KIT, Karlsruhe)


Sebastian Baur Hans Dembinski (MPIK Heidelberg) Dr Matias Perlin (ITEDA, Buenos Aires, Argentina) Ralf Ulrich (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology) Prof. Klaus Werner (SUBATECH, Nantes, France)

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