Title

Probing the radio emission from air showers with polarization measurements

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

3-14-2014

Abstract

The emission of radio waves from air showers has been attributed to the so-called geomagnetic emission process. At frequencies around 50 MHz this process leads to coherent radiation which can be observed with rather simple setups. The direction of the electric field induced by this emission process depends only on the local magnetic field vector and on the incoming direction of the air shower. We report on measurements of the electric field vector where, in addition to this geomagnetic component, another component has been observed that cannot be described by the geomagnetic emission process. The data provide strong evidence that the other electric field component is polarized radially with respect to the shower axis, in agreement with predictions made by Askaryan who described radio emission from particle showers due to a negative charge excess in the front of the shower. Our results are compared to calculations which include the radiation mechanism induced by this charge-excess process. © 2014 American Physical Society.

Publication Title

Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology

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