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Total cross sections of π+ and π− mesons on protons and deuterons have been measured in a transmission experiment to relative accuracies of ±0.2% over the laboratory momentum range 0.46-2.67 GeV/c. The systematic error is estimated to be about ±0.5% over most of the range, increasing to about ±2% near both ends. Data have been obtained at momentum intervals of 25-50 MeV/c with a momentum resolution of ±0.6%. No new structure is observed in the π±p total cross sections, but results differ in several details from previous experiments. From 1-2 GeV/c, where systematic erros are the smallest, the total cross section of π− mesons on deuterons is found to be consistently higher than that of π+ mesons by (1.3±0.3)%; about half of this difference may be understood in terms of Coulomb-barrier effects. The πd and πN total cross sections are used to check the validity of the Glauber theory. Substantial disagreements (up to 2 mb) are observed, and the conclusion is drawn that the Glauber theory is inadequate in this momentum range.
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