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Title: Characterization of Final State Interaction Strength in Plastic Scintillator by Muon-Neutrino Charged Current Charged Pion Production

Precise knowledge of neutrino-nucleus interactions is increasingly important as neutrino oscillation measurements transition into the systematics-limited era. In addition to modifying the initial interaction, the nuclear medium can scatter and absorb the interaction by-products through final state interactions, changing the types and kinematic distributions of particles seen by the detector. Recent neutrino pion production data from MiniBooNE is inconsistent with the final state interaction strength predicted by models and theoretical calculations, and some models fit best to the MiniBooNE data only after removing final state interactions entirely. This thesis presents a measurement of dσ/dTπ and dσ/dθπ for muon-neutrino charged current charged pion production in the MINER A scintillator tracker. MINER A is a neutrino-nucleus scattering experiment installed in the few-GeV NuMI beam line at Fermilab. The analysis is limited to neutrino energies between 1.5-10 GeV. Dependence on invariant hadronic mass W is studied through two versions of the analysis that impose the limits W < 1.4 GeV and W < 1.8 GeV. The lower limit on W increases compatibility with the MiniBooNE pion data. The shapes of the differential cross sections, which depend strongly on the nature of final state interactions, are compared to Monte Carlo and theoretical predictions. Itmore » is shown that the measurements presented in this thesis favor models that contain final state interactions. Additionally, a variety of neutrino-nucleus interaction models are shown to successfully reproduce the thesis measurements, while simultaneously failing to describe the shape of the MiniBooNE data.« less
  1. Univ. of Pittsburgh, PA (United States)
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Fermi National Accelerator Lab. (FNAL), Batavia, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), High Energy Physics (HEP) (SC-25)
Country of Publication:
United States