CORSIKA Shower Images

Compiled by Fabian Schmidt, Johannes Knapp, University of Leeds (2005), UK.

General Remarks

The pictures were generated with the CORSIKA option "PLOTSH2" together with the "map2png" program (both developed at Leeds University, and included in the CORSIKA release). You are invited to use these plots free of charge in theses, publications, etc..
If you do, please cite / acknowledge this website
(e.g.,  F. Schmidt, J. Knapp, "CORSIKA Shower Images", 2005, ).

Overall Shower Development

Global shower pictures for different energies, zenith angles, and projections can be found here:

Photon Showers
Proton Showers
Iron Showers
Muon Showers

The following settings were used for all shower pictures, if not stated otherwise:

First Hadronic Interaction at 10^20 eV

The following pictures are zoomed in on the first hadronic interaction of the proton and iron primaries at 10^20 eV. When seen in the center-of-momentum frame, most particles produced in the interaction are emitted in the extreme forward and backward directions. Lorentz-boosted to the lab frame, particles in the backward region assume angles of <~ 90 degrees.
Note that no muons (green tracks) can be seen at this stage, as the high-energy pions produced in the interaction do not decay in the field of view. Two red tracks forming a very small angle are most probably two gammas from a neutral pion decay.

Axis ranges:  21 m in Z (vertical), 3.4 cm (!) in X/Y (horizontal)

Proton, xy-projection
Proton, xz-projection
Iron, xy-projection
Iron, xz-projection

Identifying Processes in Shower Pictures

All of the following pictures are cut-outs of global shower images (unless stated otherwise), demonstrating some of the large number of effects and processes treated by CORSIKA.

Electromagnetic Processes



Deflection in the Earth's magnetic field

Knock-on electron performing multiple scattering
Compton Scattering

* this picture was produced by simulating a 100 MeV photon with CORSIKA.

Electroweak Decays

Note that neutrinos are not traced in the CORSIKA version used, and hence do not appear as tracks.

Muon decay producing an electromagnetic subshower
Score of muon decays in outer region of inclined shower
Charged pion decay (blue track turning green)

Hadronic Interactions

Hadron-Nucleus scattering or 2-body decay

Hadron-Nucleus scattering or 2-body decay
Hadronic interaction or 4-body decay


Second and third hadronic interaction of a vertical 100 GeV proton shower