One of the first setups at which an excess of muons in comparison with the expectation (“muon puzzle”) was detected and its dependence on the primary energy was measured, was the NEVOD-DECOR complex. Since various mechanisms for the appearance of an excess of multi-muon events (of cosmophysical or nuclear-physical nature) should have different effects on the muon energy, one of the possible approaches to solving the problem is the studying of the energy characteristics of EAS muon component and their changes with the energy of particles of primary cosmic rays. The average energy loss of muons in matter almost linearly depends on the muon energy. If an excess of high energy muons appears, then this should be reflected in the dependence of the muon energy deposit on the primary energy. At present, such an experiment is being carried out at the NEVOD-DECOR setup. The installation includes a Cherenkov water calorimeter and a precise coordinate-tracking detector. The energy deposit of muon bundles is measured from the response of the NEVOD calorimeter, and the coordinate-tracking detector DECOR allows one to determine the number of muons in the bundles. For the first time, experimental estimates of the average muon energy in the bundles and its dependence on zenith angle and primary energy in the range from 10 PeV to 1000 PeV have been obtained and compared with the results of calculations performed using the CORSIKA-based simulation using modern models of hadronic interactions.
Cherenkov water calorimeter, coordinate-tracking detector, muon bundle energy deposit, 10-1000 PeV primary energies