Neutron Valence Structure from Nuclear Deep Inelastic Scattering

E. P. Segarra, A. Schmidt, T. Kutz, D. W. Higinbotham, E. Piasetzky, M. Strikman, L. B. Weinstein, O. Hen

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Mechanisms of spin-flavor SU(6) symmetry breaking in quantum chromodynamics (QCD) are studied via an extraction of the free neutron structure function from a global analysis of deep inelastic scattering (DIS) data on the proton and on nuclei from A=2 (deuterium) to 208 (lead). Modification of the structure function of nucleons bound in atomic nuclei (known as the EMC effect) are consistently accounted for within the framework of a universal modification of nucleons in short-range correlated (SRC) pairs. Our extracted neutron-to-proton structure function ratio F2n/F2p becomes constant for xB≥0.6, equaling 0.47±0.04 as xB→1, in agreement with theoretical predictions of perturbative QCD and the Dyson-Schwinger equation, and in disagreement with predictions of the scalar diquark dominance model. We also predict F2He3/F2H3, recently measured, as yet unpublished, by the MARATHON Collaboration, the nuclear correction function that is needed to extract F2n/F2p from F2He3/F2H3, and the theoretical uncertainty associated with this extraction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number092002
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number9
StatePublished - Mar 6 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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    Segarra, E. P., Schmidt, A., Kutz, T., Higinbotham, D. W., Piasetzky, E., Strikman, M., Weinstein, L. B., & Hen, O. (2020). Neutron Valence Structure from Nuclear Deep Inelastic Scattering. Physical Review Letters, 124(9), [092002].