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Comment: 4 pages, 6 figures, to be published in the proceedings of XXXVI th Rencontres de Moriond Electroweak Interactions and Unified Theories
Comment: contribution to the 29th International Cosmic Ray Conference, Pune, India, 3-10 August 2005
The AMY experiment aims to measure the Microwave Bremsstrahlung Radiation (MBR) emitted by air-showers secondary electrons accelerating in collisions with neutral molecules of the atmosphere. The measurements are performed at the Beam Test Facility (BTF) of Frascati INFN National Laboratories and the final purpose is to characterize the process to be used in a next generation detectors of ultra-high energy cosmic rays (up to 1020eV). We describe the experimental set-up and the first test measurement performed in November 2011.
A measurement of the absolute fluorescence yield of the 337 nm nitrogen band, relevant to ultra-high energy cosmic ray (UHECR) detectors, is reported. Two independent calibrations of the fluorescence emission induced by a 120 GeV proton beam were employed: Cherenkov light from the beam particle and calibrated light from a nitrogen laser. The fluorescence yield in air at a pressure of 1013 hPa and temperature of 293 K was found to be Y337=5.61±0.06stat±0.22systY337=5.61±0.06stat±0.22syst photons/MeV. When compared to the fluorescence yield currently used by UHECR experiments, this measurement improves the uncertainty by a factor of three, and has a significant impact on the determination of the energy scale of the cosmic ray spectrum.
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