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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Gregg Franklin


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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