Measurement of muon neutrino and antineutrino induced single neutral pion production cross sections

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Elucidating the nature of neutrino oscillation continues to be a goal in the vanguard of the efforts of physics experiment. As neutrino oscillation searches seek an increasingly elusive signal, a thorough understanding of the possible backgrounds becomes ever more important. Measurements of neutrino-nucleus interaction cross sections are key to this understanding. Searches for {nu}{sub {mu}} {yields} {nu}{sub e} oscillation - a channel that may yield insight into the vanishingly small mixing parameter {theta}{sub 13}, CP violation, and the neutrino mass hierarchy - are particularly susceptible to contamination from neutral current single {pi}{sup 0} (NC 1{pi}{sup 0}) production. Unfortunately, the available ... continued below

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270 pages

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Anderson, Colin & U., /Yale December 1, 2010.

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Elucidating the nature of neutrino oscillation continues to be a goal in the vanguard of the efforts of physics experiment. As neutrino oscillation searches seek an increasingly elusive signal, a thorough understanding of the possible backgrounds becomes ever more important. Measurements of neutrino-nucleus interaction cross sections are key to this understanding. Searches for {nu}{sub {mu}} {yields} {nu}{sub e} oscillation - a channel that may yield insight into the vanishingly small mixing parameter {theta}{sub 13}, CP violation, and the neutrino mass hierarchy - are particularly susceptible to contamination from neutral current single {pi}{sup 0} (NC 1{pi}{sup 0}) production. Unfortunately, the available data concerning NC 1{pi}{sup 0} production are limited in scope and statistics. Without satisfactory constraints, theoretical models of NC 1{pi}{sup 0} production yield substantially differing predictions in the critical E{sub {nu}} {approx} 1 GeV regime. Additional investigation of this interaction can ameliorate the current deficiencies. The Mini Booster Neutrino Experiment (MiniBooNE) is a short-baseline neutrino oscillation search operating at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab). While the oscillation search is the principal charge of the MiniBooNE collaboration, the extensive data ({approx} 10{sup 6} neutrino events) offer a rich resource with which to conduct neutrino cross section measurements. This work concerns the measurement of both neutrino and antineutrino NC 1{pi}{sup 0} production cross sections at MiniBooNE. The size of the event samples used in the analysis exceeds that of all other similar experiments combined by an order of magnitude. We present the first measurements of the absolute NC 1{pi}{sup 0} cross section as well as the first differential cross sections in both neutrino and antineutrino mode. Specifically, we measure single differential cross sections with respect to pion momentum and pion angle. We find the flux-averaged, total cross sections for NC 1{pi}{sup 0} production on CH{sub 2} to be (4.76 {+-} 0.05{sub stat} {+-} 0.76{sub sys}) x 10{sup -40} cm{sup 2}/nucleon at <E{sub {nu}}> = 808 MeV for neutrino induced production and (1.48 {+-} 0.05{sub stat} {+-} 0.23{sub sys}) x 10{sup -40} cm{sup 2}/nucleon at <E{sub {nu}}> = 664 MeV for antineutrino induced production.

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270 pages

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  • Report No.: FERMILAB-THESIS-2010-49
  • Grant Number: AC02-07CH11359
  • DOI: 10.2172/1000552 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1000552
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc835027

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  • December 1, 2010

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  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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  • Nov. 29, 2016, 7:38 p.m.

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Anderson, Colin & U., /Yale. Measurement of muon neutrino and antineutrino induced single neutral pion production cross sections, thesis or dissertation, December 1, 2010; Batavia, Illinois. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc835027/: accessed August 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.