Extended Air Showers produced by cosmic rays impinging on the earth atmosphere irradiate radio frequency radiation through different mechanisms. Upon certain conditions, the emission has a coherent nature, with the consequence that the emitted power is not proportional to the energy of the primary cosmic rays, but to the energy squared. The effect was predicted in 1962 by Askaryan and it is nowadays experimentally well established and exploited for the detection of ultra high energy cosmic rays.
In this paper we discuss in details the conditions for coherence, which in literature have been too often taken for granted, and calculate them analytically, finding a formulation which comprehends both the coherent and the incoherent emissions. We apply the result to the Cherenkov effect, obtaining the same conclusions derived by Askaryan, and to the geosynchrotron radiation.
E. Conti and G. Sartori
Tue, 10 Jan 17
Comments: 9 pages, 2 figures. Submitted to International Journal of Modern Physics D. arXiv admin note: substantial text overlap with arXiv:1511.03562