Upper limit on the cosmic-ray photon flux above 1019 eV using the surface detector of the Pierre Auger Observatory

J. Abraham, P. Abreu, M. Aglietta, C. Aguirre, D. Allard, I. Allekotte, J. Allen, P. Allison, J. Alvarez-Muñiz, M. Ambrosio, L. Anchordoqui, S. Andringa, A. Anzalone, C. Aramo, S. Argirò, K. Arisaka, E. Armengaud, F. Arneodo, F. Arqueros, T. AschH. Asorey, P. Assis, B. S. Atulugama, J. Aublin, M. Ave, G. Avila, T. Bäcker, D. Badagnani, A. F. Barbosa, D. Barnhill, S. L.C. Barroso, P. Bauleo, J. J. Beatty, T. Beau, B. R. Becker, K. H. Becker, J. A. Bellido, S. BenZvi, C. Berat, T. Bergmann, P. Bernardini, X. Bertou, P. L. Biermann, P. Billoir, O. Blanch-Bigas, F. Blanco, P. Blasi, C. Bleve, H. Blümer, M. Boháčová, C. Bonifazi, R. Bonino, M. Boratav, J. Brack, P. Brogueira, W. C. Brown, P. Buchholz, A. Bueno, R. E. Burton, N. G. Busca, K. S. Caballero-Mora, B. Cai, D. V. Camin, L. Caramete, R. Caruso, W. Carvalho, A. Castellina, O. Catalano, G. Cataldi, L. Cazon, R. Cester, J. Chauvin, A. Chiavassa, J. A. Chinellato, A. Chou, J. Chye, P. D.J. Clark, R. W. Clay, E. Colombo, R. Conceição, B. Connolly, F. Contreras, J. Coppens, A. Cordier, U. Cotti, S. Coutu, C. E. Covault, A. Creusot, A. Criss, J. Cronin, A. Curutiu, S. Dagoret-Campagne, K. Daumiller, B. R. Dawson, R. M. de Almeida, C. De Donato, S. J. de Jong, G. De La Vega, W. J.M. de Mello Junior, J. R.T. de Mello Neto, I. De Mitri, V. de Souza, L. del Peral, O. Deligny, A. Della Selva, C. Delle Fratte, H. Dembinski, C. Di Giulio, J. C. Diaz, C. Dobrigkeit, J. C. D'Olivo, D. Dornic, A. Dorofeev, J. C. dos Anjos, M. T. Dova, D. D'Urso, I. Dutan, M. A. DuVernois, R. Engel, L. Epele, M. Erdmann, C. O. Escobar, A. Etchegoyen, P. Facal San Luis, H. Falcke, G. Farrar, A. C. Fauth, N. Fazzini, F. Ferrer, S. Ferry, B. Fick, A. Filevich, A. Filipčič, I. Fleck, R. Fonte, C. E. Fracchiolla, W. Fulgione, B. García, D. García Gámez, D. Garcia-Pinto, X. Garrido, H. Geenen, G. Gelmini, H. Gemmeke, P. L. Ghia, M. Giller, H. Glass, M. S. Gold, G. Golup, F. Gomez Albarracin, M. Gómez Berisso, R. Gómez Herrero, P. Gonçalves, M. Gonçalves do Amaral, D. Gonzalez, J. G. Gonzalez, M. González, D. Góra, A. Gorgi, P. Gouffon, V. Grassi, A. F. Grillo, C. Grunfeld, Y. Guardincerri, F. Guarino, G. P. Guedes, J. Gutiérrez, J. D. Hague, J. C. Hamilton, P. Hansen, D. Harari, S. Harmsma, J. L. Harton, A. Haungs, T. Hauschildt, M. D. Healy, T. Hebbeker, G. Hebrero, D. Heck, C. Hojvat, V. C. Holmes, P. Homola, J. Hörandel, A. Horneffer, M. Horvat, M. Hrabovský, T. Huege, M. Hussain, M. Iarlori, A. Insolia, F. Ionita, A. Italiano, M. Kaducak, K. H. Kampert, T. Karova, B. Kégl, B. Keilhauer, E. Kemp, R. M. Kieckhafer, H. O. Klages, M. Kleifges, J. Kleinfeller, R. Knapik, J. Knapp, D. H. Koang, A. Krieger, O. Krömer, D. Kuempel, N. Kunka, A. Kusenko, G. La Rosa, C. Lachaud, B. L. Lago, D. Lebrun, P. Lebrun, J. Lee, M. A. Leigui de Oliveira, A. Letessier-Selvon, M. Leuthold, I. Lhenry-Yvon, R. López, A. Lopez Agüera, J. Lozano Bahilo, R. Luna García, M. C. Maccarone, C. Macolino, S. Maldera, G. Mancarella, M. E. Manceñido, D. Mandat, P. Mantsch, A. G. Mariazzi, I. C. Maris, H. R. Marquez Falcon, D. Martello, J. Martínez, O. Martínez Bravo, H. J. Mathes, J. Matthews, J. A.J. Matthews, G. Matthiae, D. Maurizio, P. O. Mazur, T. McCauley, M. McEwen, R. R. McNeil, M. C. Medina, G. Medina-Tanco, A. Meli, D. Melo, E. Menichetti, A. Menschikov, Chr Meurer, R. Meyhandan, M. I. Micheletti, G. Miele, W. Miller, S. Mollerach, M. Monasor, D. Monnier Ragaigne, F. Montanet, B. Morales, C. Morello, J. C. Moreno, C. Morris, M. Mostafá, M. A. Muller, R. Mussa, G. Navarra, J. L. Navarro, S. Navas, P. Necesal, L. Nellen, C. Newman-Holmes, D. Newton, N. T. Thao, N. Nierstenhoefer, D. Nitz, D. Nosek, L. Nožka, J. Oehlschläger, T. Ohnuki, A. Olinto, V. M. Olmos-Gilbaja, M. Ortiz, F. Ortolani, S. Ostapchenko, L. Otero, N. Pacheco, D. Pakk Selmi-Dei, M. Palatka, J. Pallotta, G. Parente, E. Parizot, S. Parlati, S. Pastor, M. Patel, T. Paul, V. Pavlidou, K. Payet, M. Pech, J. Pȩkala, R. Pelayo, I. M. Pepe, L. Perrone, S. Petrera, P. Petrinca, Y. Petrov, P. N. Diep, P. N. Dong, P. T. Nhung, A. Pichel, R. Piegaia, T. Pierog, M. Pimenta, T. Pinto, V. Pirronello, O. Pisanti, M. Platino, J. Pochon, P. Privitera, M. Prouza, E. J. Quel, J. Rautenberg, A. Redondo, S. Reucroft, B. Revenu, F. A.S. Rezende, J. Ridky, S. Riggi, M. Risse, C. Rivière, V. Rizi, M. Roberts, C. Robledo, G. Rodriguez, M. D. Rodríguez-Frías, J. Rodriguez Martino, J. Rodriguez Rojo, I. Rodriguez-Cabo, G. Ros, J. Rosado, M. Roth, C. Roucelle, B. Rouillé-d'Orfeuil, E. Roulet, A. C. Rovero, F. Salamida, H. Salazar, G. Salina, F. Sánchez, M. Santander, C. E. Santo, E. M. Santos, F. Sarazin, S. Sarkar, R. Sato, V. Scherini, H. Schieler, A. Schmidt, F. Schmidt, T. Schmidt, O. Scholten, P. Schovánek, F. Schüssler, S. J. Sciutto, M. Scuderi, A. Segreto, D. Semikoz, M. Settimo, R. C. Shellard, I. Sidelnik, B. B. Siffert, G. Sigl, N. Smetniansky De Grande, A. Smiałkowski, R. Šmída, A. G.K. Smith, B. E. Smith, G. R. Snow, P. Sokolsky, P. Sommers, J. Sorokin, H. Spinka, R. Squartini, E. Strazzeri, A. Stutz, F. Suarez, T. Suomijärvi, A. D. Supanitsky, M. S. Sutherland, J. Swain, Z. Szadkowski, J. Takahashi, A. Tamashiro, A. Tamburro, O. Taşcǎu, R. Tcaciuc, D. Thomas, R. Ticona, J. Tiffenberg, C. Timmermans, W. Tkaczyk, C. J. Todero Peixoto, B. Tomé, A. Tonachini, I. Torres, D. Torresi, P. Travnicek, A. Tripathi, G. Tristram, D. Tscherniakhovski, M. Tueros, V. Tunnicliffe, R. Ulrich, M. Unger, M. Urban, J. F. Valdés Galicia, I. Valiño, L. Valore, A. M. van den Berg, V. van Elewyck, R. A. Vázquez, D. Veberič, A. Veiga, A. Velarde, T. Venters, V. Verzi, M. Videla, L. Villaseñor, S. Vorobiov, L. Voyvodic, H. Wahlberg, O. Wainberg, P. Walker, D. Warner, A. A. Watson, S. Westerhoff, G. Wieczorek, L. Wiencke, B. Wilczyńska, H. Wilczyński, C. Wileman, M. G. Winnick, H. Wu, B. Wundheiler, T. Yamamoto, P. Younk, E. Zas, D. Zavrtanik, M. Zavrtanik, A. Zech, A. Zepeda, M. Ziolkowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

210 Scopus citations

Abstract

A method is developed to search for air showers initiated by photons using data recorded by the surface detector of the Auger Observatory. The approach is based on observables sensitive to the longitudinal shower development, the signal risetime and the curvature of the shower front. Applying this method to the data, upper limits on the flux of photons of 3.8 × 10- 3, 2.5 × 10- 3, and 2.2 × 10- 3 km- 2 sr- 1 yr- 1 above 1019 eV, 2 × 1019 eV, and 4 × 1019 eV are derived, with corresponding limits on the fraction of photons being 2.0%, 5.1%, and 31% (all limits at 95% c.l.). These photon limits disfavor certain exotic models of sources of cosmic rays. The results also show that the approach adopted by the Auger Observatory to calibrate the shower energy is not strongly biased by a contamination from photons.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-256
Number of pages14
JournalAstroparticle Physics
Volume29
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are very grateful to the following agencies and organizations for financial support: Comisión Nacional de Energía Atómica, Fundación Antorchas, Gobierno De La Provincia de Mendoza, Municipalidad de Malargüe, NDM Holdings and Valle Las Leñas, in gratitude for their continuing cooperation over land access, Argentina; the Australian Research Council; Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq), Financiadora de Estudos e Projetos (FINEP), Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de Rio de Janeiro (FAPERJ), Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP), Ministério de Ciência e Tecnologia (MCT), Brazil; Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic; Centre de Calcul IN2P3/CNRS, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Conseil Régional Ile-de-France, Département Physique Nucléaire et Corpusculaire (PNC-IN2P3/CNRS), Département Sciences de l’Univers (SDU-INSU/CNRS), France; Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF), Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), Finanzministerium Baden-Württemberg, Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft Deutscher Forschungszentren (HGF), Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Forschung, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Ministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kunst, Baden-Württemberg, Germany; Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN), Ministero dell’Istruzione, dell’Università e della Ricerca (MIUR), Italy; Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT), Mexico; Ministerie van Onderwijs, Cultuur en Wetenschap, Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO), Stichting voor Fundamenteel Onderzoek der Materie (FOM), Netherlands; Ministry of Science and Higher Education, Grant Nos. 1 P03 D 014 30, N202 090 31/0623, and PAP/218/2006, Poland; Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, Portugal; Ministry for Higher Education, Science, and Technology, Slovenian Research Agency, Slovenia; Comunidad de Madrid, Consejería de Educación de la Comunidad de Castilla La Mancha, FEDER funds, Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia, Xunta de Galicia, Spain; Science and Technology Facilities Council, United Kingdom; Department of Energy, Contract No. DE-AC02-07CH11359, National Science Foundation, Grant No. 0450696, The Grainger Foundation USA; ALFA-EC/HELEN, European Union 6th Framework Program, Grant No. MEIF-CT-2005-025057, and UNESCO.

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