JARNE Cecilia Gisele
Depth of Maximum of Air-Shower Profiles at the Auger Observatory: Measurements at Energies above 10^17.8 eV
THE PIERRE AUGER COLABORATION;C. JARNE
PHYSICAL REVIEW D - PARTICLE AND FILDS
AMER PHYSICAL SOC
We report a study of the distributions of the depth of maximum, Xmax, of extensive air-shower profiles with energies above 10^17.8 eV as observed with the fluorescence telescopes of the Pierre Auger Observatory. The analysis method for selecting a data sample with minimal sampling bias is described in detail as well as the experimental cross-checks and systematic uncertainties. Furthermore, we discuss the detector acceptance and the resolution of the Xmax measurement and provide parameterizations thereof as a function of energy. The energy dependence of the mean and standard deviation of the Xmax-distributions are compared to air-shower simulations for different nuclear primaries and interpreted in terms of the mean and variance of the logarithmic mass distribution at the top of the atmosphere.