A Measurement of the Weak Charge of the Proton through Parity Violating Electron Scattering using the Qweak Apparatus: A 21% Result
Description: After a decade of preparations, the Qweak experiment at Jefferson Lab is making the first direct measurement of the weak charge of the proton, Q^p_W. This quantity is suppressed in the Standard Model making a good candidate for search for new physics beyond the SM at the TeV scale. Operationally, we measure a small (about -0.200 ppm) parity-violating asymmetry in elastic electron-proton scattering in integrating mode while flipping the helicity of the electrons 1000 times per second. Commissioning took place Fall 2010, and we finished taking data in early summer 2012. This dissertation is based on the data taken on an initial two weeks period (Wien0). It will provide an overview of the Qweak apparatus, description of the data acquisition and analysis software systems, and final analysis and results from the Wien0 data set. The result is a 16% measurement of the parity violating electron-proton scattering asymmetry, A = -0.2788 +/- 0.0348 (stat.) +/- 0.0290 (syst.) ppm at Q^2 = 0.0250 +/- 0.0006 (GeV)^2. From this a 21% measurement of the weak charge of the proton, Q_w^p(msr)= +0.0952 +/- 0.0155 (stat.) +/- 0.0131 (syst.) +/- 0.0015 (theory) is extracted. From this a 2% measurement of the weak mixing angle, sin^2theta_W(msr)= +0.2328 +/- 0.0039 (stat.) +/- 0.0033 (syst.) +/- 0.0004 (theory) and improved constraints on isoscalar/isovector effective coupling constants of the weak neutral hadronic currents are extracted. These results deviate from the Standard Model by one standard deviation. The Wien0 results are a proof of principle of the Qweak data analysis and a highlight of the road ahead for obtaining full results.
Date: August 1, 2013
Creator: Beminiwattha, Rakitha
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department