The neutron's deep-inelastic structure functions provide essential information for the flavor separation of the nucleon parton densities, the nucleon spin decomposition, and precision studies of QCD phenomena in the flavor-singlet and nonsinglet sectors. Traditional inclusive measurements on nuclear targets are limited by dilution from scattering on protons, Fermi motion and binding effects, final-state interactions, and nuclear shadowing at x ≤ 0.1. An Electron-Ion Collider (EIC) would enable next-generation measurements of neutron structure with polarized deuteron beams and detection of forward-moving spectator protons over a wide range of recoil momenta (0 < pR < several 100MeV in the nucleus rest frame). The free neutron structure functions could be obtained by extrapolating the measured recoil momentum distributions to the on-shell point. The method eliminates nuclear modifications and can be applied to polarized scattering, as well as to semi-inclusive and exclusive final states. We review the prospects for neutron structure measurements with spectator tagging at EIC, the status of R&D efforts, and the accelerator and detector requirements.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)