T. W. Donnelly - MIT

T. W. Donnelly
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T. W. Donnelly

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Nuclear Theory (47)
High Energy Physics - Phenomenology (22)
Nuclear Experiment (11)
High Energy Physics - Theory (2)
Physics - Instrumentation and Detectors (1)
High Energy Physics - Experiment (1)

Publications Authored By T. W. Donnelly

We analyze the density dependence of the contribution of meson-exchange currents to the lepton-nucleus inclusive cross section in the two-particle two-hole channel. The model is based on the Relativistic Fermi Gas, where each nucleus is characterized by its Fermi momentum $k_F$. We find that the 2p-2h nuclear response functions at their peaks scale as $A k_F^2$ for Fermi momentum going from 200 to 300 MeV/c and momentum transfer $q$ from $2k_F$ to 2 GeV/c. Read More

We present a fast and efficient method to compute the inclusive two-particle two-hole (2p-2h) electroweak responses in the neutrino and electron quasielastic inclusive cross sections. The method is based on two approximations. The first neglects the motion of the two initial nucleons below the Fermi momentum, which are considered to be at rest. Read More

We present our recent progress in the description of neutrino-nucleus interaction in the GeV region, of interest for ongoing and future oscillation experiments. In particular, we discuss the weak excitation of two-particle-two-hole states induced by meson exchange currents in a fully relativistic framework. We compare the results of our model with recent measurements of neutrino scattering cross sections, showing the crucial role played by two-nucleon knockout in the interpretation of the data. Read More

We use a recently developed model of relativistic meson-exchange currents to compute the neutron-proton and proton-proton yields in $(\nu_\mu,\mu^-)$ scattering from $^{12}$C in the 2p-2h channel. We compute the response functions and cross sections with the relativistic Fermi gas model for different kinematics from intermediate to high momentum transfers. We find a large contribution of neutron-proton configurations in the initial state, as compared to proton-proton pairs. Read More

We present a detailed study of charged-current (CC) neutrino-nucleus reactions in a fully relativis- tic framework and comparisons with recent experiments spanning an energy range from hundreds of MeV up to 100 GeV within the SuperScaling Approach, which is based on the analysis of electron- nucleus scattering data and has been recently improved with the inclusion of Relativistic Mean Field theory effects. We also evaluate and discuss the impact of two-particle two-hole meson-exchange currents (2p-2h MEC) on neutrino-nucleus interactions through the analysis of two-particle two-hole axial and vector contributions to weak response functions in a fully relativistic Fermi gas. The results show a fairly good agreement with experimental data over the whole range of neutrino energies. Read More

We use a relativistic model of meson-exchange currents to compute the proton-neutron and proton-proton yields in $(e,e')$ scattering from $^{12}$C in the 2p-2h channel. We compute the response functions and cross section with the relativistic Fermi gas model for a range of kinematics from intermediate to high momentum transfers. We find a large contribution of neutron-proton configurations in the initial state, as compared to proton-proton pairs. Read More

We develop a model of relativistic, charged meson-exchange currents (MEC) for neutrino-nucleus interactions. The two-body current is the sum of seagull, pion-in-flight, pion-pole and $\Delta$-pole operators. These operators are obtained from the weak pion-production amplitudes for the nucleon derived in the non-linear $\sigma$-model together with weak excitation of the $\Delta(1232)$ resonance and its subsequent decay into $N\pi$. Read More

We present our recent progress on the relativistic modeling of electron-nucleus reactions and compare our predictions with inclusive $^{12}$C ($e,e'$) experimental data in a wide kinematical region. The model, originally based on the superscaling phenomenon shown by electron-nucleus scattering data, has recently been improved through the inclusion of Relativistic Mean Field theory effects that take into account the enhancement of the transverse scaling function compared with its longitudinal counterpart. We also discuss the impact of meson-exchange currents (MEC) through the analysis of two-particle two-hole longitudinal and transverse contributions to electromagnetic response functions evaluated within the framework of the relativistic Fermi gas. Read More

We analyze the elastic scattering of particles interacting with nuclei through vector and axial currents with overall couplings of the order of the Standard Model weak interaction, or smaller; the dominant contribution to the elastic cross section is identified as the coherent component and is therefore spin-independent. Differential and integrated cross sections are obtained for a wide range of incident particle masses and velocities and for nuclear targets with different masses; vector, axial and overall couplings of the incident particle and of the hadronic target to the massive exchanged boson are also kept general. This study naturally encompasses several kinds of possible dark matter components, including active and sterile neutrinos or neutralinos, and addresses the prospects for their direct detection through elastic scattering off nuclei. Read More

Deuteron disintegration by charged-current neutrino (CC$\nu$) scattering offers the possibility to determine the energy of the incident neutrino by measuring in coincidence two of the three resulting particles: a charged lepton (usually a muon) and two protons, where we show that this channel can be isolated from all other, for instance, from those with a pion in the final state. We discuss the kinematics of the process for several detection scenarios, both in terms of kinematic variables that are natural from a theoretical point of view and others that are better matched to experimental situations. The deuteron structure is obtained from a relativistic model (involving an approximation to the Bethe-Salpeter equation) as an extension of a previous, well-tested model used in deuteron electrodisintegration. Read More

We show a relationship between elastic electron scattering observables and the elastic neutrino cross section that provides a straightforward determination of the latter from experimental data of the former and relates their uncertainties. An illustration of this procedure is presented using a Hartree-Fock mean field for the nuclear structure of a set of even-even nuclear targets, using the spectra of the neutrinos produced in pion decay at rest. We also analyze the prospects to measure the incoherent axial contribution to the neutrino elastic scattering in odd targets. Read More

Charged current inclusive neutrino-nucleus cross sections are evaluated using the superscaling model for quasielastic scattering and its extension to the pion production region. The contribution of two-particle-two-hole vector meson-exchange current excitations is also considered within a fully relativistic model tested against electron scattering data. The results are compared with the inclusive neutrino-nucleus data from the T2K and SciBooNE experiments. Read More

Elastic scattering of relativistic electrons from the nucleon yields Lorentz invariant form factors that describe the fundamental distribution of charge and magnetism. The spatial dependence of the nucleon's charge and magnetism is typically interpreted in the Breit reference frame which is related by a Lorentz boost from the laboratory frame, where the nucleon is at rest. We construct a toy model to estimate how the charge and magnetic radii of the nucleon are modified between the Breit and lab. Read More

We study the phase-space dependence of 2p-2h excitations in neutrino scattering using the relativistic Fermi gas model. We follow a similar approach to other authors, but focusing in the phase-space properties, comparing with the non-relativistic model. A careful mathematical analysis of the angular distribution function for the outgoing nucleons is performed. Read More

We study parity violation in quasielastic (QE) electron-nucleus scattering using the relativistic impulse approximation. Different fully relativistic approaches have been considered to estimate the effects associated with the final-state interactions. We have computed the parity-violating quasielastic (PVQE) asymmetry and have analyzed its sensitivity to the different ingredients that enter in the description of the reaction mechanism: final-state interactions, nucleon off-shellness effects, current gauge ambiguities. Read More

It is well known that coincidence quasielastic $(\vec{e},e'N)$ reactions are not appropriate to analyze effects linked to parity violation due the presence of the fifth electromagnetic (EM) response $R^{TL'}$. Nevertheless, in this work we develop a fully relativistic approach to be applied to parity-violating (PV) quasielastic $(\vec{e},e'N)$ processes. This is of importance as a preliminary step in the subsequent study of inclusive quasielastic PV $(\vec{e},e')$ reactions. Read More

We present an analysis of elastic and quasielastic parity-violating (PV) electron scattering processes. These reactions can help to constrain the weak neutral current form factors of the nucleon that play an essential role in the description of neutrino cross sections at intermediate energies. We show that combining information from the analysis of elastic and quasielastic reactions the current knowledge on the strange and axial-vector form factors can be significantly improved. Read More

We evaluate and discuss the impact of meson-exchange currents (MECs) on charged-current quasielastic neutrino cross sections. We consider the nuclear transverse response arising from two-particle two-hole states excited by the action of electromagnetic, purely isovector meson-exchange currents in a fully relativistic framework based on the work by the Torino Collaboration [A. D. Read More

Recent progresses on the relativistic modeling of neutrino-nucleus reactions are presented and the results are compared with high precision experimental data in a wide energy range. Read More

Parity-violating polarized electron scattering from nucleons and nuclei provides an excellent tool to extract valuable information on nuclear and nucleon structure, as well as to determine Standard Model couplings and higher-order radiative corrections. As measurements become more precise, theoretical models should improve accordingly in order to exploit the experimental data fully in extracting meaningful information. At the same time, it is crucial that theoretical evaluations come with realistic estimations of the corresponding theoretical uncertainties to establish that the precision reached in the measurements is not compromised. Read More

We present a systematic analysis of the quasielastic scaling functions computed within the Relativistic Mean Field (RMF) Theory and we propose an extension of the SuperScaling Approach (SuSA) model based on these results. The main aim of this work is to develop a realistic and accurate phenomenological model (SuSAv2), which incorporates the different RMF effects in the longitudinal and transverse nuclear responses, as well as in the isovector and isoscalar channels. This provides a complete set of reference scaling functions to describe in a consistent way both $(e, e')$ processes and the neutrino/antineutrino-nucleus reactions in the quasielastic region. Read More

The angular distribution of the phase space arising in two-particle emission reactions induced by electrons and neutrinos is computed in the laboratory (Lab) system by boosting the isotropic distribution in the center of mass (CM) system used in Monte Carlo generators. The Lab distribution has a singularity for some angular values, coming from the Jacobian of the angular transformation between CM and Lab systems. We recover the formula we obtained in a previous calculation for the Lab angular distribution. Read More

The general, universal formalism for semi-inclusive charged-current (anti)neutrino-nucleus reactions is given for studies of any hadronic system, namely, either nuclei or the nucleon itself. The detailed developments are presented with the former in mind and are further specialized to cases where the final-state charged lepton and an ejected nucleon are presumed to be detected. General kinematics for such processes are summarized and then explicit expressions are developed for the leptonic and hadronic tensors involved and for the corresponding responses according to the usual charge, longitudinal and transverse projections, keeping finite the masses of all particles involved. Read More

Two-particle two-hole contributions to electroweak response functions are computed in a fully relativistic Fermi gas, assuming that the electroweak current matrix elements are independent of the kinematics. We analyze the genuine kinematical and relativistic effects before including a realistic meson-exchange current (MEC) operator. This allows one to study the mathematical properties of the non-trivial seven-dimensional integrals appearing in the calculation and to design an optimal numerical procedure to reduce the computation time. Read More

We perform a statistical analysis of the full set of parity-violating asymmetry data for elastic electron scattering including the most recent high precision measurement from $Q$-weak. Given the basis of the present analysis, our estimates appear to favor non-zero vector strangeness, specifically, positive (negative) values for the electric (magnetic) strange form factors. We also provide an accurate estimate of the axial-vector nucleon form factor at zero momentum transfer, $G_A^{ep}(0)$. Read More

We compare the charged-current quasielastic neutrino and antineutrino observables obtained in two different nuclear models, the phenomenological SuperScaling Approximation and the Relativistic Mean Field approach, with the recent data published by the MINERvA Collaboration. Both models provide a good description of the data without the need of an ad hoc increase in the mass parameter in the axial-vector dipole form factor. Comparisons are also made with the MiniBooNE results where different conclusions are reached. Read More

The OLYMPUS experiment was designed to measure the ratio between the positron-proton and electron-proton elastic scattering cross sections, with the goal of determining the contribution of two-photon exchange to the elastic cross section. Two-photon exchange might resolve the discrepancy between measurements of the proton form factor ratio, $\mu_p G^p_E/G^p_M$, made using polarization techniques and those made in unpolarized experiments. OLYMPUS operated on the DORIS storage ring at DESY, alternating between 2. Read More

High precision measurements of the parity-violating asymmetry in polarized electron scattering from nuclei can be used to extract information on nuclear and nucleon structure or to determine Standard Model couplings and higher-order radiative corrections. To this end, low uncertainties are also required in the effects that inevitably arise from modeling the underlying nuclear structure. An experimental precision of a few tenths of a percent may be attainable for the asymmetry if the appropriate kinematic range is chosen, as will be discussed here for the case of $^{12}$C. Read More

The relativistic mean field (RMF) model is used to describe nucleons in the nucleus and thereby to evaluate the effects of having dynamically off-shell spinors. Compared with free, on-shell nucleons as employed in some other models, within the RMF nucleons are described by relativistic spinors with strongly enhanced lower components. In this work it is seen that for MiniBooNE kinematics, neutrino charged-current quasielastic cross sections show some sensitivity to these off-shell effects, while for the antineutrino-nucleus case the total cross sections are seen to be essentially independent of the enhancement of the lower components. Read More

We compare the predictions of the SuperScaling model for charged current quasielastic muonic neutrino and antineutrino scattering from $^{12}$C with experimental data spanning an energy range up to 100 GeV. We discuss the sensitivity of the results to different parametrizations of the nucleon vector and axial-vector form factors. Finally, we show the differences between electron and muon (anti-)neutrino cross sections relevant for the $\nu$STORM facility. Read More

The superscaling approach (SuSA) to neutrino-nucleus scattering, based on the assumed universality of the scaling function for electromagnetic and weak interactions, is reviewed. The predictions of the SuSA model for bot CC and NC differential and total cross sections are presented and compared with the MiniBooNE data. The role of scaling violations, in particular the contribution of meson exchange currents in the two-particle two-hole sector, is explored. Read More

We evaluate quasielastic double-differential antineutrino cross sections obtained in a phenomenological model based on the superscaling behavior of electron scattering data and estimate the contribution of the vector meson-exchange currents in the 2p-2h sector. We show that the impact of meson-exchange currents for charge-changing antineutrino reactions is much larger than in the neutrino case. Read More

Parity violation in elastic electron-nucleon scattering is studied with the basic goal of improving the understanding of electroweak hadronic structure with special emphasis on the strangeness content in the nucleon. Models for the parity-violating (PV) asymmetry are provided and compared with the world data measured at very different kinematics. The effects introduced in the PV asymmetry due to alternative descriptions of the hadronic structure are analyzed in detail. Read More

We illustrate and discuss the role of meson-exchange currents in quasielastic neutrino-nucleus scattering induced by charged currents, comparing the results with the recent MiniBooNE data for differential and integrated cross sections. Read More

Two relativistic approaches to charged-current quasielastic neutrino-nucleus scattering are illustrated and compared: one is phenomenological and based on the superscaling behavior of electron scattering data and the other relies on the microscopic description of nuclear dynamics in relativistic mean field theory. The role of meson exchange currents in the two-particle two-hole sector is explored. The predictions of the models for differential and total cross sections are presented and compared with the MiniBooNE data. Read More

We reexamine several issues related to the physics of scaling in electron scattering from nuclei. A basic model is presented in which an assumed form for the momentum distribution having both long- and short-range contributions is incorporated in the single-particle Green function. From this one can obtain saturation of nuclear matter for an NN interaction with medium-range attraction and short-range repulsion, and can obtain the density-density polarization propagator and hence the electromagnetic response and scaling function. Read More

Two relativistic approaches are considered to evaluate the quasielastic double-differential and integrated neutrino-nucleus cross sections. One, based on the relativistic impulse approximation, relies on the microscopic description of nuclear dynamics using relativistic mean field theory, and incorporates a description of the final-state interactions. The second is based on the superscaling behavior exhibited by electron scattering data and its applicability, due to the universal character of the scaling function, to the analysis of neutrino scattering reactions. Read More

Double polarization elastic e-p cross sections and asymmetries are considered in collider kinematics. Covariant expressions are derived for the general situation involving crossed beams; these are checked against the well-known results obtained when the proton is at rest. Results are given using modern models for the proton electromagnetic form factors for kinematics of interest in e-p colliders such as the EIC facility which is in its planning stage. Read More

The link between the scaling function extracted from the analysis of (e,e') cross sections and the spectral function/momentum distribution in nuclei is revisited. Several descriptions of the spectral function based on the independent particle model are employed, together with the inclusion of nucleon correlations, and effects of the energy dependence arising from the width of the hole states are investigated. Although some of these approaches provide rough overall agreement with data, they are not found to be capable of reproducing one of the distinctive features of the experimental scaling function, namely its asymmetry. Read More

Quasielastic double differential neutrino cross sections can be obtained in a phenomenological model based on the superscaling behavior of electron scattering data. In this talk the superscaling approach (SuSA) is reviewed and its validity is tested in a relativistic shell model. Results including meson exchange currents for the kinematics of the MiniBoone experiment are presented. Read More

We evaluate the quasielastic double differential neutrino cross sections obtained in a phenomenological model based on the superscaling behavior of electron scattering data. We compare our results with the recent experimental data for neutrinos of MiniBooNE and estimate the contribution of the vector meson-exchange currents in the 2p-2h sector. Read More

Two-particle two-hole contributions to electromagnetic response functions are computed in a fully relativistic Fermi gas model. All one-pion exchange diagrams that contribute to the scattering amplitude in perturbation theory are considered, including terms for pionic correlations and meson-exchange currents (MEC). The pionic correlation terms diverge in an infinite system and thus are regularized by modification of the nucleon propagator in the medium to take into account the finite size of the nucleus. Read More

Scaling studies of inclusive quasielastic electron scattering reactions have been used in the past as a basic tool to obtain information on the nucleon momentum distribution in nuclei. However, the connection between the scaling function, extracted from the analysis of cross section data, and the spectral function only exists assuming very restricted approximations. We revisit the basic expressions involved in scaling studies and how they can be linked to the nucleon momentum distribution. Read More

The roles played by mesons in the electromagnetic form factors of the nucleon are explored using as a basis a model containing vector mesons with coupling to the continuum together with the asymptotic $Q^2$ behavior of perturbative QCD. Specifically, the vector dominance model (GKex) developed by Lomon is employed, as it is known to be very successful in representing the existing high-quality data published to date. An analysis is made of the experimental uncertainties present when the differences between the GKex model and the data are expanded in orthonormal basis functions. Read More

The one- and the two-particle propagators for an infinite non-interacting Fermi system are studied as functions of space-time coordinates. Their behaviour at the origin and in the asymptotic region is discussed, as is their scaling in the Fermi momentum. Both propagators are shown to have a divergence at equal times. Read More

We suggest that superscaling in electroweak interactions with nuclei, namely the observation that the reduced electron-nucleus cross sections are to a large degree independent of the momentum transfer and of the nuclear species, can be used as a tool to obtain precise predictions for neutrino-nucleus cross sections in both charged and neutral current-induced processes. Read More

We review the general interplay between Nuclear Physics and neutrino-nucleus cross sections at intermediate and high energies. The effects of different reaction mechanisms over the neutrino observables are illustrated with examples in calculations using several nuclear models and ingredients. Read More

Affiliations: 1Center for Theoretical Physics, Laboratory for Nuclear Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2Center for Theoretical Physics, Laboratory for Nuclear Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 3Center for Theoretical Physics, Laboratory for Nuclear Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Contributions of $D$ waves to physical observables for neutral pion photoproduction from the proton in the near-threshold region are studied and means to isolate them are proposed. Various approaches to describe the multipoles are employed --a phenomenological one, a unitary one, and heavy baryon chiral perturbation theory. The results of these approaches are compared and found to yield essentially the same answers. Read More

The present study is focused on the superscaling behavior of electron-nucleus cross sections in the region lying above the quasielastic peak, especially the region dominated by electroexcitation of the Delta. Non-quasielastic cross sections are obtained from all available high-quality data for Carbon 12 by subtracting effective quasielastic cross sections based on the superscaling hypothesis. These residuals are then compared with results obtained within a scaling-based extension of the relativistic Fermi gas model, including an investigation of violations of scaling of the first kind in the region above the quasielastic peak. Read More