Measurement of the neutrino-oxygen neutral-current interaction cross section by observing nuclear deexcitation $γ$ rays

Abe, K. and Adam, J. and Aihara, H. and Akiri, T. and Andreopoulos, C. and Aoki, S. and Ariga, A. and Ariga, T. and Assylbekov, S. and Autiero, D. and Barbi, M. and Barker, G. J. and Barr, G. and Bass, M. and Batkiewicz, M. and Bay, F. and Bentham, S. W. and Berardi, V. and Berger, B. E. and Berkman, S. and Bertram, I. and Bhadra, S. and Blaszczyk, F. d. M. and Blondel, A. and Bojechko, C. and Bordoni, S. and Boyd, S. B. and Brailsford, D. and Bravar, A. and Bronner, C. and Buchanan, N. and Calland, R. G. and Rodríguez, J. Caravaca and Cartwright, S. L. and Castillo, R. and Catanesi, M. G. and Cervera, A. and Cherdack, D. and Christodoulou, G. and Dealtry, T. and Finch, A. J. and Grant, N. and Kormos, L. L. and Lamont, I. and Lawe, M. and Nowak, J. and O'Keeffe, H. M. and Ratoff, P. N. and Reeves, M. and Southwell, L. (2014) Measurement of the neutrino-oxygen neutral-current interaction cross section by observing nuclear deexcitation $γ$ rays. Physical Review D, 90 (7). ISSN 1550-7998

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We report the first measurement of the neutrino-oxygen neutral-current quasielastic (NCQE) cross section. It is obtained by observing nuclear deexcitation $\gamma$-rays which follow neutrino-oxygen interactions at the Super-Kamiokande water Cherenkov detector. We use T2K data corresponding to $3.01 \times 10^{20}$ protons on target. By selecting only events during the T2K beam window and with well-reconstructed vertices in the fiducial volume, the large background rate from natural radioactivity is dramatically reduced. We observe 43 events in the $4-30$ MeV reconstructed energy window, compared with an expectation of 51.0, which includes an estimated 16.2 background events. The background is primarily nonquasielastic neutral-current interactions and has only 1.2 events from natural radioactivity. The flux-averaged NCQE cross section we measure is $1.55 \times 10^{-38}$ cm$^2$ with a 68\% confidence interval of $(1.22, 2.20) \times 10^{-38}$ cm$^2$ at a median neutrino energy of 630 MeV, compared with the theoretical prediction of $2.01 \times 10^{-38}$ cm$^2$.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Physical Review D
Additional Information:
10 pages, 6 figures © 2014 American Physical Society
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Deposited On:
18 Jun 2015 05:54
Last Modified:
05 Jul 2020 04:26