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Exploring the spin of the proton and exclusive processes at Jefferson Lab

Wed., Jan. 14, 2015 2:30 p.m. - Wed., Jan. 14, 2015 3:30 p.m.

Location: CL 410

Abstract: The vast majority of the visible mass in the universe is composed of protons and neutrons, collectively called nucleons, which are the building blocks of atomic nuclei. These nucleons are composed of fundamental particles, quarks and gluons, whose interactions are described by the theory of the strong nuclear force known as Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD). Despite the elegance of this theory even a basic understanding of the inner workings of the nucleon continues to elude us. For example, it is well understood that most of the proton's mass is due to QCD interactions, not matter, but we do not know if the same is true of other measurable quantities. In this talk, I will focus on what we have learned recently about the origin of the proton’s spin, and how it arises from the intrinsic spins and motions of the constituent quarks and gluons. In particular, I will emphasize results from exclusive processes at the Jefferson Lab electron-beam facility and prospects for its recently upgraded beam energy and a future electon-ion collider.

Speaker: Dr. Justin R. Stevens, Massachusetts Institute of Technology