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Title: Evidence for Neutral-Current Diffractive π0 Production from Hydrogen in Neutrino Interactions on Hydrocarbon

Here, the MINERvA experiment observes an excess of events containing electromagnetic showers relative to the expectation from Monte Carlo simulations in neutral-current neutrino interactions with mean beam energy of 4.5 GeV on a hydrocarbon target. The excess is characterized and found to be consistent with neutral-current π0 production with a broad energy distribution peaking at 7 GeV and a total cross section of 0.26 $$\pm$$ 0.02 (stat) $$\pm$$ 0.08 (sys) x $$10^{-39} cm^{2}$$. The angular distribution, electromagnetic shower energy, and spatial distribution of the energy depositions of the excess are consistent with expectations from neutrino neutral-current diffractive neutral pion production from hydrogen in the hydrocarbon target. These data comprise the first direct experimental observation and constraint for a reaction that poses an important background process in neutrino oscillation experiments searching for $$\nu_{\mu}$$to $$\nu_e$$ oscillations.
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1251202
Report Number(s):
FERMILAB-PUB--16-108-ND; arXiv:1604.01728
Journal ID: ISSN 0031-9007; PRLTAO; 1444347
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-07CH11359
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physical Review Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 117; Journal Issue: 11; Journal ID: ISSN 0031-9007
Publisher:
American Physical Society (APS)
Research Org:
Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (FNAL), Batavia, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), High Energy Physics (HEP) (SC-25)
Contributing Orgs:
MINERvA Collaboration
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
46 INSTRUMENTATION RELATED TO NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY; 72 PHYSICS OF ELEMENTARY PARTICLES AND FIELDS