We demonstrate that the distinctive features of the forward differential cross section of diffractive leptoproduction of a vector meson can be legitimately calculated in perturbative QCD in terms of the light-cone qq wave function of the vector meson and the gluon distribution of the target. In particular, we calculate the Q2 and nuclear dependence of the diffractive leptoproduction of vector mesons and estimate the cross section. The production of longitudinally polarized vector mesons by longitudinally polarized virtual photons is predicted to be the dominant component, yielding a cross section behaving as Q-6. The nuclear dependence of the diffractive cross sections, which follows from a factorization theorem in perturbative QCD, provides important tests of color transparency as well as constraints on the shadowing of the gluon structure functions and the longitudinal structure functions of nuclei.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)