Regular Article - Theoretical Physics
Confronting models of cosmic ray interactions with particle physics at LHC energies
IFLP (CONICET-UNLP), Dpto. de Física, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, C.C.67 – 1900, La Plata, Argentina
* e-mail: Maria.Teresa.Dova@cern.ch
Revised: 5 September 2007
Published online: 2 October 2007
Inelastic pp collisions are dominated by soft (low momentum transfer) physics, to which perturbative QCD cannot be fully applied. A deep understanding of both soft and semi-hard processes is crucial for predictions of minimum bias and underlying events of the pp large hadron collider (LHC) now coming on line. Moreover, the interaction of cosmic ray particles entering in the atmosphere is extremely sensitive to these soft processes and consequently cannot be formulated from first principles. Because of this, air shower analyses strongly rely on hadronic interaction models, which extrapolate collider data by several orders of magnitude. A comparative study of Monte Carlo simulations of pp collisions (at the LHC center-of-mass energy ≃14 TeV) using the most popular hadronic interaction models for ultrahigh energy cosmic ray (SIBYLL and QGSJET) and for collider physics (the PYTHIA multiparton model) is presented. The most relevant distributions are studied including the observables from diffractive events with the aim of discriminating between the different models.
© Springer-Verlag / Società Italiana di Fisica, 2007