Employees of the D.V. Skobeltsyn (SINP) and the Faculty of Physics of Moscow State University, together with foreign colleagues, proposed ways to improve the existing models of neutrino-nuclear interaction by electron scattering methods, which made it possible to test different versions of such models.

Neutrino experiments make it possible to study one of the most interesting physical phenomena - neutrino oscillations. The results of existing experiments include rather significant errors. These biases can be reduced using the approaches published in this study.

Using data on electron-nuclear scattering with known initial electron energies, it turned out to be possible to test methods for recovering neutrino energy, as well as various models of neutrino-nuclear interaction. The MSU staff proposed the methods described in the article that can increase the accuracy of neutrino experiments and reduce the systematic uncertainties in the results of such experiments.

“We studied the scattering of electrons by nuclei (helium, carbon, iron) with the emission of one proton. Using the similarity of the electron-nuclear (vector current) and neutrino-nuclear (vector plus axial current) interactions, such a process can be simulated using the models used in neutrino experiments. By comparing the measured scattering cross section with the simulated one, it is possible to test the procedures for recovering the neutrino energy, as well as various models of neutrino interaction, ”said Evgeny Isupov, senior researcher at the Moscow State University Institute of Nuclear Physics.

The experiments described in the article were carried out on the CLAS detector, which ceased to exist in 2012. At present, the energy of the accelerator has been increased, and a new CLAS12 detector has been commissioned, so these studies will be continued. The dataset for the experiment is running right now and will continue until the end of January 2022.

The developed technique can be used both in current experiments (MINERvA, NOvA, MicroBooNE, Super-Kamiokande) and in future projects such as DUNE and Hyper-Kamiokande.

Article published in the journal Nature
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