Measurement of the flux-averaged inclusive charged-current electron neutrino and antineutrino cross section on argon using the NuMI beam and the MicroBooNE detector

(MicroBooNE Collaboration)

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We present a measurement of the combined νe+ν¯e flux-averaged charged-current inclusive cross section on argon using data from the MicroBooNE liquid argon time projection chamber (lartpc) at Fermilab. Using the off-axis flux from the NuMI beam, MicroBooNE has reconstructed 214 candidate νe+ν¯e interactions with an estimated exposure of 2.4×1020 protons on target. Given the estimated purity of 38.6%, this implies the observation of 80 νe+ν¯e events in argon, the largest such sample to date. The analysis includes the first demonstration of a fully automated application of a dE/dx-based particle discrimination technique of electron- and photon-induced showers in a lartpc neutrino detector. The main background for this first νe analysis is cosmic ray contamination. Significantly higher purity is expected in underground detectors, as well as with next-generation reconstruction algorithms. We measure the νe+ν¯e flux-averaged charged-current total cross section to be 6.84±1.51(stat)±2.33(sys)×10-39 cm2/nucleon, for neutrino energies above 250 MeV and an average neutrino flux energy of 905 MeV when this threshold is applied. The measurement is sensitive to neutrino events where the final state electron momentum is above 48 MeV/c, includes the entire angular phase space of the electron, and is in agreement with the theoretical predictions from genie and nuwro. This measurement is also the first demonstration of electron-neutrino reconstruction in a surface lartpc in the presence of cosmic-ray backgrounds, which will be a crucial task for surface experiments like those that comprise the short-baseline neutrino program at Fermilab.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number052002
JournalPhysical Review D
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 8 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This document was prepared by the MicroBooNE Collaboration using the resources of the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), a U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, HEP User Facility. Fermilab is managed by Fermi Research Alliance, LLC (FRA), acting under Contract No. DE-AC02-07CH11359. MicroBooNE is supported by the following: the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Offices of High Energy Physics and Nuclear Physics; the U.S. National Science Foundation; the Swiss National Science Foundation; the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), part of the United Kingdom Research and Innovation; and The Royal Society (United Kingdom). Additional support for the laser calibration system and cosmic-ray tagger was provided by the Albert Einstein Center for Fundamental Physics, Bern, Switzerland.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 authors. Published by the American Physical Society.


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