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The temperature of the upper atmosphere affects the height of primary cosmic ray interactions and the production of high-energy cosmic ray muons which can be detected deep underground. The MINOS far detector at Soudan, MN, has collected over 67 × 10^6 cosmic ray induced muons. The underground muon rate measured over a period of five years exhibits a 4% peak-to-peak seasonal variation which is highly correlated with the temperature in the upper atmosphere. The coefficient, α_T, relating changes in the muon rate to changes in atmospheric temperature was found to be α_T = 0.873 ± 0.009(stat) ± 0.010(syst). Pions and kaons in the primary hadronic interactions of cosmic rays in the atmosphere contribute differently to αT due to the different masses and lifetimes. This allows the measured value of α_T to be interpreted as a measurement of the K/π ratio for Ep ≳ 7 TeV of 0.12^(+0.07)_(-0.05), consistent with the expectation from collider experiments.
|Additional Information:||© 2010 American Physical Society. Received 12 September 2009; revised 19 November 2009; published 6 January 2010. We thank the Fermilab staff and the technical staffs of the participating institutions for their vital contributions. This work was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.K. Science and Technologies Facilities Council, the U.S. National Science Foundation, the State and University of Minnesota, the Office of Special Accounts for Research Grants of the University of Athens, Greece, FAPESP (Fundacao de Amparo a Pesquisa do Estado de Sao Paulo) and CNPq (Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Cientifico e Tecnologico) in Brazil. We gratefully acknowledge the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for their assistance and for allowing us access to the facilities of the Soudan Underground Mine State Park and the crew of the Soudan Underground Physics Laboratory for their tireless work in building and operating the MINOS far detector. We also acknowledge the BADC and the ECMWF for providing the environmental data for this project.|
|Classification Code:||PACS: 95.55.Vj, 98.70.Sa, 98.70.Vc|
|Usage Policy:||No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.|
|Deposited By:||Jason Perez|
|Deposited On:||12 Mar 2010 17:50|
|Last Modified:||26 Dec 2012 11:50|
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