•Jörg R. Hörandel für die KASCADE-Kollaboration
Universität Karlsruhe, Institut für Experimentelle Kernphysik, Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Platz 1, 76344 Leopoldshafen
The origin of high-energy cosmic ray particles, the processes of their
propagation through the galaxy, and the origin of the knee in their energy
spectrum are among the most interesting questions in particle astrophysics.
The large multi-component air shower experiment KASCADE is operated since
1996 in order to address these issues. It measures the electromagnetic,
muonic, and hadronic components of extensive air showers simultaneously
in the energy range from below 1014 to above 1017
eV. Deriving conclusions of astrophysical relevance from air shower data
needs a correct understanding of the cosmic-ray induced high-energy hadronic
interactions in the atmosphere. Recent tests of hadronic interaction models
used to describe the development of air showers in simulation codes such
as CORSIKA are presented. Experimental access to the above mentioned astrophysical
questions is provided through the measurement of the cosmic-ray mass composition,
energy spectrum, and arrival directions. Actual results on the anisotropy
of cosmic rays including a search for point sources will be discussed.
A review of recent results, derived from different shower components, on
the primary energy spectrum and the mass composition of cosmic rays is
given and primary energy spectra for elemental groups will be presented.