Measurement of the neutrino-oxygen neutral-current quasielastic cross section using atmospheric neutrinos in the SK-Gd experiment

S. Sakai, K. Abe, C. Bronner, Y. Hayato, K. Hiraide, K. Hosokawa, K. Ieki, M. Ikeda, J. Kameda, Y. Kanemura, R. Kaneshima, Y. Kashiwagi, Y. Kataoka, S. Miki, S. Mine, M. Miura, S. Moriyama, Y. Nakano, M. Nakahata, S. NakayamaY. Noguchi, K. Sato, H. Sekiya, H. Shiba, K. Shimizu, M. Shiozawa, Y. Sonoda, Y. Suzuki, A. Takeda, Y. Takemoto, H. Tanaka, T. Yano, S. Han, T. Kajita, K. Okumura, T. Tashiro, T. Tomiya, X. Wang, S. Yoshida, P. Fernandez, L. Labarga, N. Ospina, B. Zaldivar, B. W. Pointon, E. Kearns, J. L. Raaf, L. Wan, T. Wester, J. Bian, N. J. Griskevich, S. Locke, M. B. Smy, H. W. Sobel, V. Takhistov, A. Yankelevich, J. Hill, M. C. Jang, S. H. Lee, D. H. Moon, R. G. Park, B. Bodur, K. Scholberg, C. W. Walter, A. Beauchêne, O. Drapier, A. Giampaolo, Th A. Mueller, A. D. Santos, P. Paganini, B. Quilain, T. Nakamura, J. S. Jang, L. N. Machado, J. G. Learned, K. Choi, N. Iovine, S. Cao, L. H.V. Anthony, D. Martin, N. W. Prouse, M. Scott, A. A. Sztuc, Y. Uchida, V. Berardi, N. F. Calabria, M. G. Catanesi, E. Radicioni, A. Langella, G. De Rosa, G. Collazuol, F. Iacob, M. Mattiazzi, L. Ludovici, M. Gonin, G. Pronost, C. Fujisawa, Y. Maekawa, Y. Nishimura, R. Okazaki, R. Akutsu, M. Friend, T. Hasegawa, T. Ishida, T. Kobayashi, M. Jakkapu, T. Matsubara, T. Nakadaira, K. D. Nakamura, Y. Oyama, K. Sakashita, T. Sekiguchi, T. Tsukamoto, N. Bhuiyan, G. T. Burton, F. Di Lodovico, J. Gao, A. Goldsack, T. Katori, J. Migenda, R. M. Ramsden, S. Zsoldos, A. T. Suzuki, Y. Takagi, H. Zhong, Y. Takeuchi, J. Feng, L. Feng, J. R. Hu, Z. Hu, M. Kawaue, T. Kikawa, M. Mori, T. Nakaya, R. A. Wendell, K. Yasutome, S. J. Jenkins, N. Mccauley, P. Mehta, A. Tarant, Y. Fukuda, Y. Itow, H. Menjo, K. Ninomiya, Y. Yoshioka, J. Lagoda, S. M. Lakshmi, M. Mandal, P. Mijakowski, Y. S. Prabhu, J. Zalipska, M. Jia, J. Jiang, C. K. Jung, W. Shi, M. J. Wilking, C. Yanagisawa, M. Harada, Y. Hino, H. Ishino, Y. Koshio, F. Nakanishi, T. Tada, T. Tano, T. Ishizuka, G. Barr, D. Barrow, L. Cook, S. Samani, D. Wark, A. Holin, F. Nova, S. Jung, B. S. Yang, J. Y. Yang, J. Yoo, J. E.P. Fannon, L. Kneale, M. Malek, J. M. Mcelwee, M. D. Thiesse, L. F. Thompson, S. T. Wilson, H. Okazawa, S. B. Kim, E. Kwon, J. W. Seo, I. Yu, A. K. Ichikawa, K. D. Nakamura, S. Tairafune, K. Nishijima, A. Eguchi, K. Nakagiri, Y. Nakajima, S. Shima, N. Taniuchi, E. Watanabe, M. Yokoyama, P. De Perio, S. Fujita, K. Martens, K. M. Tsui, M. R. Vagins, J. Xia, S. Izumiyama, M. Kuze, R. Matsumoto, M. Ishitsuka, H. Ito, Y. Ommura, N. Shigeta, M. Shinoki, K. Yamauchi, T. Yoshida, R. Gaur, V. Gousy-Leblanc, M. Hartz, A. Konaka, X. Li, S. Chen, B. D. Xu, B. Zhang, M. Posiadala-Zezula, S. B. Boyd, R. Edwards, D. Hadley, M. Nicholson, M. O'flaherty, B. Richards, A. Ali, B. Jamieson, S. Amanai, Ll Marti, A. Minamino, S. Suzuki

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Abstract

We report the first measurement of the atmospheric neutrino-oxygen neutral-current quasielastic (NCQE) cross section in the gadolinium-loaded Super-Kamiokande (SK) water Cherenkov detector. In June 2020, SK began a new experimental phase, named SK-Gd, by loading 0.011% by mass of gadolinium into the ultrapure water of the SK detector. The introduction of gadolinium to ultrapure water has the effect of improving the neutron-tagging efficiency. Using a 552.2 day dataset from August 2020 to June 2022, we measure the NCQE cross section to be 0.74±0.22(stat)-0.15+0.85(syst)×10-38 cm2/oxygen in the energy range from 160 MeV to 10 GeV, which is consistent with the atmospheric neutrino-flux-averaged theoretical NCQE cross section and the measurement in the SK pure-water phase within the uncertainties. Furthermore, we compare the models of the nucleon-nucleus interactions in water and find that the binary cascade model and the Liège intranuclear cascade model provide a somewhat better fit to the observed data than the Bertini cascade model. Since the atmospheric neutrino-oxygen NCQE reactions are one of the main backgrounds in the search for diffuse supernova neutrino background (DSNB), these new results will contribute to future studies - and the potential discovery - of the DSNB in SK.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberL011101
JournalPhysical Review D
Volume109
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jan 2024

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