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Title: Evidence for Neutral-Current Diffractive π 0 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 π 0 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:
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 Lab. (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
OSTI Identifier:
1251202
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1321039