A study of some aspects of extensive air showers at sea level
An experiment to search for tachyons, associated with extensive air showers, using an unshielded plastic scintillator is described. No evidence for their existence has been found. A review of tachyon theory and previous searches is given. The design and implementation of an automatic data collection system for the Durham Air Shower Array, using a PET microcomputer, is described. In addition various improvements to the array are described. The performance of the array and the methods of data analysis are discussed. The array has been operated with five detectors and the results compared to those expected by simulation. The power of the zenith angle distribution has been determined and found to correspond to previous determinations. The size spectrum has also been determined in the range 2.10(^4) to 10(^6) electrons. Although the slopes are in agreement with other measurements the absolute rate is low. It is concluded that this is mainly due to the lack of redundancy in the array and that more detectors are required.