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First observation of coherent π0 production in neutrino–nucleus interactions with Eν<2 GeV

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Journal publication date12/06/2008
JournalPhysics Letters B
Journal number1-2
Number of pages6
Original languageEnglish


The MiniBooNE experiment at Fermilab has amassed the largest sample to date of π0s produced in neutral current (NC) neutrino–nucleus interactions at low energy. This Letter reports a measurement of the momentum distribution of π0s produced in mineral oil (CH2) and the first observation of coherent π0 production below 2 GeV. In the forward direction, the yield of events observed above the expectation for resonant production is attributed primarily to coherent production off carbon, but may also include a small contribution from diffractive production on hydrogen. Integrated over the MiniBooNE neutrino flux, the sum of the NC coherent and diffractive modes is found to be (19.5±1.1(stat)±2.5(sys))% of all exclusive NC π0 production at MiniBooNE. These measurements are of immediate utility because they quantify an important background to MiniBooNE's search for νμ→νe oscillations.