Description: The nucleon elastic electromagnetic form factors are fundamental quantities needed for an understanding of nucleon and nuclear electromagnetic structure. The evolution of the Sachs electric and magnetic form factors with Q2, the square of the four-momentum transfer, is related to the distribution of charge and magnetization within the nucleon. High precision measurements of the nucleon form factors are essential for stringent tests of our current theoretical understanding of confinement within the nucleon. Measurements of the neutron form factors, in particular, those of the neutron electric form factor, have been notoriously difficult due to the lack of a free neutron target and the vanishing integral charge of the neutron. Indeed, a precise measurement of the neutron electric form factor has eluded experimentalists for decades; however, with the advent of high duty-factor polarized electron beam facilities, experiments employing polarization degrees of freedom have finally yielded the first precise measurements of this fundamental quantity. Following a general overview of the experimental and theoretical status of the nucleon form factors, a detailed description of an experiment designed to extract the neutron electric form factor from measurements of the neutron's recoil polarization in quasielastic 2H(e, e')1H scattering is presented. The experiment described here employed the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility's longitudinally polarized electron beam, a magnetic spectrometer for detection of the scattered electron, and a neutron polarimeter designed specifically for this experiment. Measurements were conducted at three Q2 values of 0.45, 1.13, and 1.45 (GeV/c)2, and the final results extracted from an analysis of the data acquired in this experiment are reported and compared with recent theoretical predictions for the nucleon form factors.
Date: February 1, 2004
Creator: Plaster, Bradley
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department