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Nuclear Physics Aspects of Coherent Elastic Neutrino-Nucleus Scattering

Speaker(s) / Presenter(s):
Vishvas Pandey (University of Florida)

The prospects of extracting new physics signals in a coherent elastic neutrino-nucleus scattering (CEvNS) process are limited by the precision with which the underlying nuclear structure physics, embedded in the weak nuclear form factor, is known. In this talk, I will present a microscopic nuclear structure physics calculations of charge and weak nuclear form factors and CEvNS cross sections on $^{12}$C, $^{16}$O, $^{40}$Ar, $^{56}$Fe and $^{208}$Pb nuclei. We obtain the proton and neutron densities, and charge and weak form factors by solving Hartree-Fock equations with a Skyrme (SkE2) nuclear potential. We validate our approach by comparing $^{208}$Pb and $^{40}$Ar charge form factor predictions with elastic electron scattering data. In view of the  worldwide interest in liquid-argon based neutrino and dark matter experiments, we pay special attention to the $^{40}$Ar nucleus and make predictions for the $^{40}$Ar weak form factor and the CEvNS cross sections. Furthermore, we attempt to gauge the level of theoretical uncertainty pertaining to the description of the  $^{40}$Ar form factor and CEvNS cross sections by comparing relative differences between recent microscopic nuclear theory and widely-used phenomenological form factor predictions. Future precision measurements of CEvNS will potentially help in constraining these nuclear structure details that will in turn improve prospects of extracting new physics.

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