Identification of Nuclear Effects in Neutrino-Carbon Interactions at Low Three-Momentum Transfer

P. A. Rodrigues, J. Demgen, E. Miltenberger, L. Aliaga, O. Altinok, L. Bellantoni, A. Bercellie, M. Betancourt, A. Bodek, A. Bravar, H. Budd, T. Cai, M. F. Carneiro, J. Chvojka, J. Devan, S. A. Dytman, G. A. Díaz, B. Eberly, M. Elkins, J. FelixL. Fields, R. Fine, A. M. Gago, R. Galindo, H. Gallagher, A. Ghosh, T. Golan, R. Gran, D. A. Harris, A. Higuera, K. Hurtado, M. Kiveni, J. Kleykamp, M. Kordosky, T. Le, J. R. Leistico, A. Lovlein, E. Maher, S. Manly, W. A. Mann, C. M. Marshall, D. A. Martinez Caicedo, K. S. McFarland, C. L. McGivern, A. M. McGowan, B. Messerly, J. Miller, A. Mislivec, J. G. Morfín, J. Mousseau, (MINERvA Collaboration)

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Abstract

Two different nuclear-medium effects are isolated using a low three-momentum transfer subsample of neutrino-carbon scattering data from the MINERvA neutrino experiment. The observed hadronic energy in charged-current νμ interactions is combined with muon kinematics to permit separation of the quasielastic and Δ(1232) resonance processes. First, we observe a small cross section at very low energy transfer that matches the expected screening effect of long-range nucleon correlations. Second, additions to the event rate in the kinematic region between the quasielastic and Δ resonance processes are needed to describe the data. The data in this kinematic region also have an enhanced population of multiproton final states. Contributions predicted for scattering from a nucleon pair have both properties; the model tested in this analysis is a significant improvement but does not fully describe the data. We present the results as a double-differential cross section to enable further investigation of nuclear models. Improved description of the effects of the nuclear environment are required by current and future neutrino oscillation experiments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number071802
JournalPhysical review letters
Volume116
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 17 2016

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