Wenqing Zhao

By William & Mary

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Building a New RTPC to Look into Quarks

In Quantum Chromodynamics, up and down quarks are crucial for the construction of the nucleon, and they determine its quantum numbers. Consequently, the momentum distributions, u(x) and d(x), are of high interest. Here, x is the fraction of total nucleon momentum carried by one quark.   One way to shed light on their nature is to investigate the structure functions of the Proton, Fp,(x) and Neutron, Fn(x), since protons contain 3 valence quarks and neutrons contain 3 valence quarks uud. Experiments have been run at Jefferson Lab measuring the ratio Fp,(x)/Fn(x), in the lower range of x, which  produced valuable data using the a radial time projection chamber (RTPC). We want to expand the detection range to the higher x in order to observe the transition as x→1. However, the current luminosity possible with the existing RTPC isn’t large enough to provide  a high enough event rate. To increase the luminosity, we need to build a new RTPC, twice as longer as the first one. My research is to be part of the team that will design and build a new RTPC. The team has members from  W&M, ODU, JMU, Hampton University and Jefferson Lab.

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