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Title: Measurement of the Charged-Current Quasi-Elastic Cross-Section for Electron Neutrinos on a Hydrocarbon Target

Appearance-type neutrino oscillation experiments, which observe the transition from muon neutrinos to electron neutrinos, promise to help answer some of the fundamental questions surrounding physics in the post-Standard-Model era. Because they wish to observe the interactions of electron neutrinos in their detectors, and because the power of current results is typically limited by their systematic uncertainties, these experiments require precise estimates of the cross-section for electron neutrino interactions. Of particular interest is the charged-current quasi-elastic (CCQE) process, which gures signi cantly in the composition of the reactions observed at the far detector. However, no experimental measurements of this crosssection currently exist for electron neutrinos; instead, current experiments typically work from the abundance of muon neutrino CCQE cross-section data and apply corrections from theoretical arguments to obtain a prediction for electron neutrinos. Veri cation of these predictions is challenging due to the di culty of constructing an electron neutrino beam, but the advent of modern high-intensity muon neutrino beams|together with the percent-level electron neutrino impurity inherent in these beams| nally presents the opportunity to make such a measurement. We report herein the rst-ever measurement of a cross-section for an exclusive state in electron neutrino scattering, which was made using the MINERmore » A detector in the NuMI neutrino beam at Fermilab. We present the electron neutrino CCQE di erential cross-sections, which are averaged over neutrinos of energies 1-10 GeV (with mean energy of about 3 GeV), in terms of various kinematic variables: nal-state electron angle, nal-state electron energy, and the square of the fourmomentum transferred to the nucleus by the neutrino , Q 2. We also provide a total cross-section vs. neutrino energy. While our measurement of this process is found to be in agreement with the predictions of the GENIE event generator, we also report on an unpredicted photon-like process we observe in a similar kinematic regime. The absence of this process from models for neutrino interactions is a potential stumbling block for future on-axis neutrino oscillation experiments. We include kinematic and particle species identi cation characterizations which can be used in building models to help address this shortcoming.« less
  1. Univ. of Rochester, NY (United States)
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Research Org:
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