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Title: A Measurement of the Parity-Violating Asymmetry in Aluminum and its Contribution to a Measurement of the Proton's Weak Charge

The Q_weak experiment, which ran at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, made a precision measurement of the proton's weak charge, Q^p_W. The weak charge is extracted via a measurement of the parity-violating asymmetry in elastic electron-proton scattering from hydrogen at low momentum transfer (Q^2=0.025 GeV^2). This result is directly related to the electroweak mixing angle, sin^2(Theta_W), a fundamental parameter in the Standard Model of particle physics. This provides a precision test sensitive to new, as yet unknown, fundamental physics. This dissertation focuses on two central corrections to the Q_weak measurement: the target window contribution and sub-percent determination of the electron beam polarization. The aluminum target windows contribute approximately 30% of the measured asymmetry. Removal of this background requires precise measurements of both the elastic electron-aluminum scattering rate and its parity-violating asymmetry. The results reported here are the most precise measurement of the Q_weak target dilution and asymmetry to date. The parity-violating asymmetry for the aluminum alloy was found to be 1.6174 +/- 0.0704 (stat.) +/- 0.0113 (sys.) parts-per-million. The first sub-percent precision polarization measurements made from the Hall C Moller polarimeter are also reported, with systematic uncertainties of 0.84%.
  1. College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
JLAB-PHY-16-2313; DOE/OR/23177-3927; JLAB-EXP-08-016
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Research Org:
Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, Newport News, VA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Nuclear Physics (NP) (SC-26)
Country of Publication:
United States