Scientific article
Open access

Tau longitudinal and transverse polarizations from visible kinematics in (anti-)neutrino nucleus scattering

Published inPhysics letters. B, vol. 829, 137046
Publication date2022-06

Since the ντ(ν¯τ)AZ→τ∓X reaction is notoriously difficult to be directly measured, the information on the dynamics of this nuclear process should be extracted from the analysis of the energy and angular distributions of the tau decay visible products. These distributions depend, in addition to d2σ/(dEτdcos⁡θτ), on the components of the tau-polarization vector. We give, for the first time, the general expression for the outgoing hadron (pion or rho meson) energy and angular differential cross section for the sequential ντAZ→τ−(π−ντ,ρ−ντ)X and ν¯τAZ→τ+(π+ν¯τ,ρ+ν¯τ)X reactions. Though all possible nuclear reaction mechanisms contribute to the distribution, it may be possible to isolate/enhance one of them by implementing appropriate selection criteria. For the case of the quasi-elastic reaction off oxygen and neutrino energies below 6 GeV, we show that the pion distributions are quite sensitive to the details of the tau-polarization components. We find significant differences between the full calculation, where the longitudinal and transverse components of the tau polarization vector vary with the energy and the scattering angle of the produced tau, and the simplified scheme in which the polarizations are set to one and zero, being the latter their respective asymptotic values reached in the high energy regime. In addition to its potential impact on neutrino oscillation analyses, this result can be used to further test different nuclear models, since these observables provide complementary information to that obtained by means of the inclusive nuclear weak charged-current differential cross section. We also study the effects on the cross section of the W4 and W5 nuclear structure functions, which contributions are proportional to the charged lepton mass, and therefore difficult to constrain in muon and electron neutrino experiments.

  • Tau: decay
  • Neutrino nucleus: scattering
  • Polarization: transverse
  • Neutrino: energy
  • Lepton: mass
  • Tau: polarization
  • Energy: high
  • Nucleus: structure function
  • Neutrino: oscillation
  • Meson
  • Polarization: vector
  • Longitudinal
  • Differential cross section
  • Muon
  • GeV
  • Oxygen
  • Nuclear reaction
  • Angular distribution
  • Charged current
  • Electron
  • Kinematics
  • Rho(770)
  • Nuclear model
  • Hadron
Citation (ISO format)
HERNÁNDEZ, E. et al. Tau longitudinal and transverse polarizations from visible kinematics in (anti-)neutrino nucleus scattering. In: Physics letters. B, 2022, vol. 829, p. 137046. doi: 10.1016/j.physletb.2022.137046
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0370-2693

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Creation10/06/2022 10:05:00 AM
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