Year of Publication

2008

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Dissertation

College

Arts and Sciences

Department

Physics and Astronomy

First Advisor

Dr. Wolfgang Korsch

Abstract

The neutron, although electrically neutral, is composed of elementary charged particles and as a result, possesses a charge distribution within. The charge distribution can be studied by measuring a quantity called the neutron electric form factor, GnE. Experiment E02-013 at Jefferson Lab’s Hall A measured GnE at high four-momentum transfer values of Q2 = 1.2, 1.7, 2.5 and 3.4 (GeV/c)2 in double polarized semi-exclusive 3He(e, e'n) scattering in quasi-elestic kinematics by measuring the transverse asymmetry AT of the cross section.

The neutron electric form factor is essential to know for a variety of reasons. Results from the recent Jefferson Lab experiment on the proton revealed interesting features at these momentum transfers, whereas no accurate data for the neutron is available. Also the recent development in Generalized Parton Distributions (GPDs) necessitates the need for precise values for GnE in Q2 range between 1 and 10 (GeV/c)2; they appear as limiting conditions for certain GPD functions, for example, to constrain spin-flip GPDs. The experiment used the polarized 3He target and the polarized CEBAF electron beam at energies of about 1.52, 2.08, 2.64 and 3.29 GeV. The electrons were detected in the BigBite spectrometer and the neutrons in a large array of scintillators in coincidence with the electrons.

In this dissertation, we report a preliminary result, GnE = 0.03457 ± 0.007239 at Q2 = 1.7 (GeV/c)2.

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