The semiexclusive channel νμ+CH→μ-π0+nucleon(s) is analyzed using MINERvA exposed to the low-energy NuMI νμ beam with spectral peak at Eν≃3 GeV. Differential cross sections for muon momentum and production angle, π0 kinetic energy and production angle, and for squared four-momentum transfer are reported, and the cross section σ(Eν) is obtained over the range 1.5 GeV≤Eν<20 GeV. Results are compared to GENIE and NuWro predictions and to published MINERvA cross sections for charged-current π+(π0) production by νμ(νμ) neutrinos. Disagreements between data and simulation are observed at very low and relatively high values for muon angle and for Q2 that may reflect shortfalls in modeling of interactions on carbon. For π0 kinematic distributions, however, the data are consistent with the simulation and provide support for generator treatments of pion intranuclear scattering. Using signal-event subsamples that have reconstructed protons as well as π0 mesons, the pπ0 invariant mass distribution is obtained, and the decay polar and azimuthal angle distributions in the rest frame of the pπ0 system are measured in the region of Δ(1232)+ production, W<1.4 GeV.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory under U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Contract No. DE-AC02-07CH11359 which included the MINERvA construction project. Construction support was also granted by the United States National Science Foundation (NSF) under Grant No. PHY-0619727 and by the University of Rochester. Support for participating scientists was provided by NSF and DOE (USA), by CAPES and CNPq (Brazil), by CoNaCyT (Mexico), by Proyecto Basal FB 0821, Grant No. CONICYT PIA ACT1413, Fondecyt Grants No. 3170845 and 11130133 (Chile), by CONCYTEC, DGI-PUCP and IDI/IGI-UNI (Peru) by the Latin American Center for Physics (CLAF) and by RAS and the Russian Ministry of Education and Science (Russia). We thank the MINOS Collaboration for use of its near detector data. We acknowledge the dedicated work of the Fermilab staff responsible for the operation and maintenance of the beam line and detector, and we thank the Fermilab Computing Division for support of data processing. This manuscript has been authored by Fermi Research Alliance, LLC under Contract No. DE-AC02-07CH11359 with the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of High Energy Physics. The United States Government and the publisher, by accepting the article for publication, acknowledges that the United States Government retains a nonexclusive, paid-up, irrevocable, world-wide license to publish or reproduce the published form of this manuscript, or allow others to do so, for United States Government purposes.