Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Physics Division

Physics Division Seminars

Physics Division Seminars bring us speakers on a variety of physics related subjects. Usually these are held in the Building 6008 large Conference Room, at 3:00 pm on the chosen day, but times and locations may vary. For more information, contact our seminar chairman,

Alfredo Galindo-Uribarri
Tel (Office): (865) 574-6124  (FAX): (865) 574-1268

Thu., August 31, 2006, at 3:00 p.m. (refreshments at 2:40 p.m.)

Parity-Violating Electron Scattering: Recent Results and Future Prospects

Krishna Kumar, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Building 6008 Conference Room

The technique of parity-violating electron scattering, where the fractional difference in the scattering rate is measured for incident right- and left-handed longitudinally polarized high energy electrons on unpolarized targets, is now commonly used to isolate the weak neutral current amplitude at low momentum-transfer. Over the past three decades, the technology for measuring such small asymmetries has steadily improved, making it feasible to address a variety of fundamental questions in nuclear and particle physics. With judicious choices of kinematics and targets, various experiments have been designed to probe the role of virtual strange quarks in nucleon form factors, to measure the rms radius of the ground-state neutron distribution in a heavy, spinless nucleus and to test the gauge structure of the weak neutral current interaction itself, in a manner complementary collider experiments. Recent final results from the HAPPEX experiment at Jefferson Lab will be presented and the potential impact of ongoing experiments will be reviewed. Finally, new ideas for future accelerator facilities will be discussed.