Postdoctoral Project/PN-II-RU-PD-2011-3-0062, “Advanced studies of radio signals from ultra high energy cosmic ray induced air showers in the Earth’s atmosphere – ROSAS“,  2011-2013

Project leader: Dr. Isar, Paula Gina

Mentor: Dr. Ion-Sorin Zgura


Despite a lapse of time of nearly 100 years since discovery of cosmic rays, their origin and accelerator mechanisms are still largely a matter of conjecture, and even more, the flux of the primary cosmic ray falls from 1 particle/cm2 ·s to 1 particle/km2 · yr at high energies. However, the particle flux at higher energies is too low for direct measurements by detectors carried by balloon or satellite flights. Thus, Extended Air Showers (EAS) induced by highly energetic particles when penetrating the atmosphere, serve as observables in indirect measurements of primary cosmic rays. Properties of the primaries (arrival direction, energy, mass) have to be reconstructed from measurements of secondary particles, which form the air shower.  Through the movement of these secondary particles in the Earth’s atmosphere, further detectable effects are been induced, like: Cherenkov radiation, fluorescence in air, and (re-discovered) radio emission.

The first observations of radio emission from extended air showers go back to the sixties of the last century, but at that time the effect could not be uniquely established, due to the lack of suitable electronic devices and knowledge in interpreting the measured data. The radio emission mainly originates from the deflection of secondary air shower electrons and positrons in the Earth’s magnetic field. The radio technique aims at achieving a similar quality in the reconstruction of air shower parameters as the established Cherenkov or fluorescence light detection methods, which in contrast to the radio technique are limited to dark, moonless nights. The radio detection technique opens a large window in observing the most energetic particles coming from the Universe, particularly in the transition region between galactic to extragalactic (1019.5 eV).

In the recent years, most of the progress in the field of digital radio detection of air showers was either made by CODALEMA (COsmic ray Detection Array with Logarithmic Electro Magnetic Antennas, in France), LOPES (LOFAR PrototypE Station), AERA (Auger Engineering Radio Array) in the frame of the world’s largest Pierre Auger cosmic ray Observatory in Argentina, or at LOFAR (LOw Frequency ARray) in the Northern Europe. The project leader is official member of both LOPES and Auger collaborations.

The research proposal is associated with the project leader’s professional experience gained during PhD studies at KIT (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology) in Germany, in the frame of the LOPES experiment. The proposal is chosen in order to add science to efforts done elsewhere, as well as bring the expertise to Romania, and thus to continue the work started with the PhD thesis. The project aims to improve understandings of both measured and simulated radio signals from EAS, in order to discern the deepest structure of matter in the cosmos.


  1. Phase 1, 2011 (released)
  2. Phase 2, 2012 (released)
  3. Phase 3, 2013 (released)

Dissemination @Conferences (national/international)

  1. 30th May – 1st of June 2011, FCAL workshop, Predeal, Romania, invited talk
  2. 3 – 6th of October 2011, Physikzentrum Bad Honnef, Germany, „490th WE-Heraeus Seminar: Radio Detection in Astroparticle Physics„, discussions and networking
  3. 9th of October 2011, Faculty of Physics Bucharest, Romania, World Space Week „Cu mic cu mare…. dincolo de Soare”, talk contributions
  4. 20th – 26th of May 2012, research stage at Karsruhe  Institute of Technology – KIT Campus North, Germany
  5. 28th May 2012, in the Final of FameLab Romania (transmitted by TVR), talking science show by British Council Bucharest
  6. 29th of May – 19th of June 2012, research stage at KIT Campus North, Germany
  7. 19 – 22th of June 2012, ARENA workshop in Erlangen, Germany, poster contribution
  8. 24th of June – 7th of July, CSSP12 school/conference in Sinaia, Romania, talk contribution (participant and co-organizer of the school)
  9. 22 – 24th of October, 2012, KASCADE-Grande and LOPES Collaboration meetings, Freudenstadt, Germany (PGI is responsible person in ISS for KASCADE-Grande and LOPES)
  10. 24-03th of November, research stage at KIT Campus North, Germany
  11. 11  – 16th November, 2012, Auger Collaboration meeting, Malargue, Argentina, ISS in Auger talk contribution (on Nov. 15th, 2012, the Institute of Space Science, ISS Bucharest, became associate group in Auger. PGI is responsible person in ISS for the Pierre Auger Observatory. See the Acceptance Letter and the Press Release)
  12. 21 – 22th January 2013, Auger SDE meeting” (talk – Contribution from ISS-Romania), Orsay, France
  13. 4 – 7th February, 2013, „Auger AERA meeting” in Paris, France
  14. 29th March, 2013, organizer in the FameLab Romania 2013, Pre-selction at Magureleoutreach activity – talking science show in partnership with British Council Bucharest, and Faculty of Physics/University of Bucharest.
  15. 1st-4th April, 2013, Scoala Altfel „to know more, to be better”outreach activity – talking science. See the summary report.
  16. 20th April, 2013, „Cu mic cu mare … prin Univers” – outreach activity – talking science
  17. 23th April – 11th May, 2013, AERA Phase II Installing 100 radio stations at Auger, Malargue, Argentina.
  18. 30 – 31th May, 2013, „Auger SDE meeting” in Lisbon, Portugal
  19. 27th Sept. 2013, Researchers Night – outreach activity, Bucharest
  20. 23-26th October, 2013, „Auger SDE meeting” in Orsay, France
  21. more to come next…

In the Media (Press/Radio/TV)

  1. 29th September 2011, Radio Bucuresti fm, „Intalniri capitale cu Andrei Dorobantu”, 1h talking science show about physics
  2. 20th January 2012, Intact Media Academy & Antena 1 TV, „Cercetatori romani de top”, reportage (PGI is certified reporter since 2012, in the frame of a 3 month training at IMA- Intact Media Academy, Bucharest, Romania)
  3. 28th of May 2012, FameLab final, Romania, 3min. talking science show, trasnmitted by TVR (PGI was in the final FameLab 2012 talking about „Radiatia cosmica de la Puzzle la Mister”. PGI has paticipated at a 2-day Materclass of communicating science organized by BBC expert Malcom Love)
  4. 15th February, 2013, „Romanii, intre savantii de elita” (reportaje by Observator – Antena 1 TV, 19:00)
  5. 12th May, 2013, Cautand varsta universului” (Reportaje by DIGI 24 – Din interior, 18:36)
  6. 28th May, 2013, Radio Romania Cultural, 17:05, „Stiinta la ea acasa cu Mihaela Ghita”, 45 minutes talking science show about Primavara Stiintei pe Platforma Magurele (Invitati: Dr. Gina Isar, Dr. Bogdan Popovici, Prof. Vasile Bercu)
  7. 4th June, 2013, Radio Romania Cultural, @13:30 interview at „Stiinta in Cuvinte cu Corina Negrea”, @17:05, „Stiinta la ea acasa cu Mihaela Ghita”, 45 minutes talking science show about „Cosmic Radiation and the Pierre Auger Observatory”
  8. Magazine/Revista „Stiinta si Tehnica”, nr. 27, July-August, 2013, „Isar-Auger-Publication-S&T-2013
  9. 5th November, 2013, Radio Romania Cultural, 17:00, „Planeta Radio- Univers Stiintific” cu Mihaela Ghita”, 45 minute talking science show about „Career in scientific research” (Invitati: Dr. Gina Isar si Dr. Doina Nicolae)
  10. more to come next …

Publications (first author only, ISI/non-ISI Journals)

  1. Isar PG, Insides in Astroparticle Physics,
  2. Isar PG, Radio detection of cosmic ray air showers with LOPES, Romanian Reports in Physics, Vol. 64, No. 1, P. 308–313, 2012
  3. Isar PG, Innovative detection of ultra high energy cosmic ray air showers, Romanian Reports in Physics, Vol. 64, No. 3, P. 825-830, 2012
  4. Isar PG, EXOTIC NUCLEI AND NUCLEAR/PARTICLE ASTROPHYSICS (IV). FROM NUCLEI TO STARS: Carpathian Summer School of Physics 2012. AIP Conference Proceedings, Radio emission observations as a new window in observing the Universe, Volume 1498, pp. 344-348, 2012
  5. Trache L and Isar PG, EXOTIC NUCLEI AND NUCLEAR/PARTICLE ASTROPHYSICS (IV). FROM NUCLEI TO STARS: Carpathian Summer School of Physics 2012. AIP Conference Proceedings, The outreach session – Round table: Science in times of crisis: Cut or expand?!, Volume 1498, pp. 376-379, 2012
  6. Trache L and Isar PG, EXOTIC NUCLEI AND NUCLEAR/PARTICLE ASTROPHYSICS (IV). FROM NUCLEI TO STARS: Carpathian Summer School of Physics 2012. AIP Conference Proceedings, Vol. 1498, pp. 404, 2012
  7. more to come next…

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