Other Neutrino Physics Research in NOMAD

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Although NOMAD has been designed to search for neutrino oscillations its bubble chamber-like characteristics allow several other physics processes to be studied. In no particular order the main non-oscillation studies being pursued are

  • The study of the charm quark production.
  • Studies of quark fragmentation. Fragmentation is the process by which quarks combine to form the particles seen in the laboratory.
  • Closely allied to fragmentation is the study of particle numbers and spatial distributions that provides glimpses of the manner in which quarks interact.
  • The studies of quasielastic, coherent and diffractive processes.
  • The investigation of resonance formation and decay.

The most accepted, and the most successful, theory to predict the interactions of quarks and gluons, the mediator particles of the colour force, is Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD). Although obviously not the final word in our understanding of the intra-nucleon processes it goes a long way to explaining the data that are collected by high energy physics experiments. The theory must always be compared to experimental results as check on its validity. In the case of QCD physicists are most interested in the distributions of particles in the hadronic jet in electron-positron collisions or neutrino-nucleon interactions.

Further reading

Neutrino Production of Opposite Sign Dimuons in the NOMAD Experiment (pdf, 2Mb), PhD thesis of Steven Boyd, 1998.