NuSTEC White Paper: Status and challenges of neutrino–nucleus scattering

L. Alvarez-Ruso, M. Sajjad Athar, M. B. Barbaro, D. Cherdack, M. E. Christy, P. Coloma, T. W. Donnelly, S. Dytman, A. de Gouvêa, R. J. Hill, P. Huber, N. Jachowicz, T. Katori, A. S. Kronfeld, K. Mahn, M. Martini, J. G. Morfín, J. Nieves, G. N. Perdue, R. PettiD. G. Richards, F. Sánchez, T. Sato, J. T. Sobczyk, G. P. Zeller

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The precise measurement of neutrino properties is among the highest priorities in fundamental particle physics, involving many experiments worldwide. Since the experiments rely on the interactions of neutrinos with bound nucleons inside atomic nuclei, the planned advances in the scope and precision of these experiments require a commensurate effort in the understanding and modeling of the hadronic and nuclear physics of these interactions, which is incorporated as a nuclear model in neutrino event generators. This model is essential to every phase of experimental analyses and its theoretical uncertainties play an important role in interpreting every result. In this White Paper we discuss in detail the impact of neutrino–nucleus interactions, especially the nuclear effects, on the measurement of neutrino properties using the determination of oscillation parameters as a central example. After an Executive Summary and a concise Overview of the issues, we explain how the neutrino event generators work, what can be learned from electron–nucleus interactions and how each underlying physics process – from quasi-elastic to deep inelastic scattering – is understood today. We then emphasize how our understanding must improve to meet the demands of future experiments. With every topic we find that the challenges can be met only with the active support and collaboration among specialists in strong interactions and electroweak physics that include theorists and experimentalists from both the nuclear and high energy physics communities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-68
Number of pages68
JournalProgress in Particle and Nuclear Physics
StatePublished - May 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank T. Bolton, U. Mosel, L. Sehgal and J. W. Van Orden for valuable comments on the manuscript. Support for participating scientists was provided by: Spanish Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad and the European Regional Development Fund , under contracts FIS2014-51948-C2-1-P , FIS2017-84038-C2-1-P , FPA2016-77347-C2-2 and SEV-2014-0398 ; Generalitat Valenciana under contract PROMETEOII/2014/0068 ; Università degli Studi di Torino under Projects BARM-RILO-15-02 and BARM-RILO-17-01 ; Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare under Project MANYBODY; Espace de Structure et de réactions Nucléaire Théorique (ESNT) at CEA ; Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) ST/N000420/161 ; Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, operated by Fermi Research Alliance, LLC under Contract No. DE-AC02-07CH11359 with the United States Department of Energy; University of Pittsburgh, U.S. Department of Energy award DE-SC0007914 ; Colorado State University , DE-FG02-93ER40788 ; MIT, DOE under grant contract DE-AC05-06OR23177 ; Northwestern University , DE-SC001014 ; Michigan State University , DE-SC0015903 ; Virginia Tech , DE-SC0009973 ; Jefferson Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Nuclear Physics under contract DE-AC05-06OR23177 ; Alfred P. Sloan Foundation ; MEXT KAKENHI, Japan , Grant No. JP25105010 ; the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 674896 ; Polish NCN Grant No. UMO-2014/14/M/ST2/0085 ; the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO-Flanders) ; the Interuniversity Attraction Poles Program P7/12 initiated by the Belgian Science Policy Office. Perimeter Institute, supported by the Government of Canada through the Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and by the Province of Ontario through the Ministry of Research and Innovation ; The authors supported during the INT-16-63W workshop thank the Institute for Nuclear Theory at the University of Washington. This document was prepared by NuSTEC using the resources of the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), a U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, HEP User Facility. Fermilab is managed by Fermi Research Alliance, LLC (FRA), acting under Contract No. DE-AC02-07CH11359.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier B.V.


  • Model
  • Neutrino
  • Nuclear
  • Nucleus
  • Oscillations
  • Scattering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


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