Circular polarization of radio emission from air showers probes atmospheric electric fields in thunderclouds.Scholten, O., Buitink, S., Corstanje, A., Ebert, U., Enriquez, E., Falcke, H., Horandel, J. R., Nelles, A., Schellart, P., Rachen, J., Rossetto, L., Rutjes, C., ter Veen, S. & Thoudam, S., 1-Apr-2016, In : EGU General Assembly. 18
Research output: Contribution to journal › Meeting Abstract › Academic
When a high-energy cosmic-ray particle enters the upper layer of the atmosphere, it generates many secondary high-energy particles and forms a cosmic-ray-induced air shower. In the leading plasma of this shower electric currents are induced that emit electromagnetic radiation. These radio waves can be detected with LOw-Frequency ARray (LOFAR) radio telescope. Events have been collected under fair-weather conditions as well as under atmospheric conditions where thunderstorms occur. For the events under the fair weather conditions the emission process is well understood by present models. For the events measured under the thunderstorm conditions, we observe a large fraction of the circular polarization near the core of the shower which is not shown in the events under the fair-weather conditions. This can be explained by the change of direction of the atmospheric electric fields with altitude. Therefore, measuring the circular polarization of radio emission from cosmic ray extensive air showers during the thunderstorm conditions helps to have a better understanding about the structure of atmospheric electric fields in the thunderclouds.
EGU General Assembly 2016
17/04/2016 → 22/04/2016Vienna, Austria