Experimental study of the atmospheric neutrino backgrounds for p→e+π0 searches in water Cherenkov detectors

S. Mine, J. L. Alcaraz, S. Andringa, S. Aoki, J. Argyriades, K. Asakura, R. Ashie, F. Berghaus, H. Berns, H. Bhang, A. Blondel, S. Borghi, J. Bouchez, J. Burguet-Castell, D. Casper, J. Catala, C. Cavata, A. Cervera, S. M. Chen, K. O. ChoJ. H. Choi, U. Dore, X. Espinal, M. Fechner, E. Fernandez, Y. Fujii, Y. Fukuda, J. Gomez-Cadenas, R. Gran, T. Hara, M. Hasegawa, T. Hasegawa, Y. Hayato, R. L. Helmer, K. Hiraide, J. Hosaka, A. K. Ichikawa, M. Iinuma, A. Ikeda, T. Ishida, K. Ishihara, T. Ishii, M. Ishitsuka, Y. Itow, T. Iwashita, H. I. Jang, E. J. Jeon, I. S. Jeong, K. K. Joo, G. Jover

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The atmospheric neutrino background for proton decay via p→e+π0 in ring imaging water Cherenkov detectors is studied with an artificial accelerator neutrino beam for the first time. In total, 3.14×105 neutrino events corresponding to about 10 megaton-years of atmospheric neutrino interactions were collected by a 1000 ton water Cherenkov detector (KT). The KT charged-current single π0 production data are well reproduced by simulation programs of neutrino and secondary hadronic interactions used in the Super-Kamiokande (SK) proton decay search. The obtained p→e+π0 background rate by the KT data for SK from the atmospheric neutrinos whose energies are below 3 GeV is 1.63-0.33+0.42(stat)-0.51+0.45(syst)(megaton-year)- 1. This result is also relevant to possible future, megaton-scale water Cherenkov detectors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number032003
JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 25 2008


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