Date of Award

4-2011

Embargo Period

12-4-2015

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Physics

Advisor(s)

Gregg Franklin

Abstract

The spin structure of protons and neutrons has been an open question for nearly twenty-five years, after surprising experimental results disproved the simple model in which valence quarks were responsible for nearly 100% of the nucleon spin. Diverse theoretical approaches have been brought to bear on the problem, but a shortage of precise data – especially on neutron spin structure – has prevented a thorough understanding. Experiment E06-014, conducted in Hall A of Jefferson Laboratory in 2009, presented an opportunity to add to the world data set for the neutron in the poorly covered valence-quark region. Jefferson Laboratory’s highly polarized electron beam, combined with Hall A’s facilities for a high-density, highly polarized 3He target, allowed a high-luminosity double-polarized experiment, while the large acceptance of the BigBite spectrometer gave coverage over a wide kinematic range: 0.15 < x < 0.95. In this work, we present the analysis of a portion of the E06-014 data, measured with an incident beam energy of 4.74 GeV and spanning 1.5 < Q2 < 5.5 (GeV/c)2 . From these data, we extract the longitudinal asymmetry in virtual photon-nucleon scattering, A1, on the 3He nucleus. Combined with the remaining E06-014 data, this will form the basis of a measurement of the neutron asymmetry An 1 that will extend the kinematic range of the data available to test models of spin-dependent parton distributions in the nucleon.

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