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Title: First Determination of the Weak Charge of the Proton

  1. Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, Newport News, VA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Nuclear Physics (NP) (SC-26)
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
JLAB-PHY-16-2332; DOE/OR/23177-3928
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Country of Publication:
United States

Citation Formats

Guo, Fang. First Determination of the Weak Charge of the Proton. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.2172/1323225.
Guo, Fang. First Determination of the Weak Charge of the Proton. United States. doi:10.2172/1323225.
Guo, Fang. 2016. "First Determination of the Weak Charge of the Proton". United States. doi:10.2172/1323225.
title = {First Determination of the Weak Charge of the Proton},
author = {Guo, Fang},
abstractNote = {},
doi = {10.2172/1323225},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2016,
month = 6

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  • The Qweak experiment has taken data to make a 2.5% measurement of parity violating elastic e+p asymmetry in the four momentum transfer region of 0.0250 (GeV/c) 2. This asymmetry is proportional to the weak charge of the proton, which is related to the weak mixing angle, sin 2(theta_W). The final Qweak measurement will provide the most precise measurement of the weak mixing angle below the Z 0 pole to test the Standard Model prediction. A description of the experimental apparatus is provided in this dissertation. The experiment was carried out using a longitudinally polarized electron beam of up to 180more » microampere on a 34.5 cm long unpolarized liquid hydrogen target. The Qweak target is not only the world's highest cryogenic target ever built for a parity experiment but also is the least noisy target. This dissertation provides a detailed description of this target and presents a thorough analysis of the target performance. Statistical analysis of Run 1 data, collected between Feb - May 2011, is done to extract a blinded parity violating asymmetry of size -299.7 ± 13.4 (stat.) ± 17.2 (syst.) ± 68 (blinding) parts-per-billion. This resulted in a preliminary proton's weak charge of value 0.0865 ± 0.0085, a 9% measurement. Based on this blinded asymmetry, the weak mixing angle was determined to be sin 2(theta_W) = 0.23429 ± 0.00211.« less
  • The Qweak experiment which ran in Hall C at Jefferson Lab in Newport News, VA, and completed data taking in May 2012, measured the weak charge of the proton Q p W via elastic electron-proton scattering. Longitudinally polarized electrons were scattered from an unpolarized liquid hydrogen target. The helicity of the electron beam was flipped at approximately 1 kHz between left and right spin states. The Standard Model predicts a small parity-violating asymmetry of scattering rates between right and left helicity states due to the weak interaction. An initial result using 4% of the data was published in October 2013more » [1] with a measured parity-violating asymmetry of -279 ± 35(stat) ± 31 (syst) ppb. This asymmetry, along with other data from parity-violating electron scattering experiments, provided the world's first determination of the weak charge of the proton. The weak charge of the proton was found to be p W = 0.064 ± 0.012, in good agreement with the Standard Model prediction of p W(SM) = 0.0708 ± 0.0003[2].« less
  • Qweak will determine the weak charge of the proton, Q p{sub W}, via an asymmetry measurement of parity-violating elastic electron-proton scattering at low four momentum transfer to a precision of 4%. Q p W has a firm Standard Model prediction and is related to the weak mixing angle, sin 2 Φ W, a well-defined Standard Model parameter. Qweak will probe a subset of new physics to the TeV mass scale and test the Standard Model. The details of how this measurement was performed and the analysis of the 25% elastic dataset will be presented in this thesis. Also, an analysismore » of an auxiliary measurement of the parity-violating asymmetry in the N → Δ transition is presented. It is used as a systematic inelastic background correction in the elastic analysis and to extract information about the hadronic parity violation through the low energy constant, d Δ. The elastic asymmetry at Q 2 = 0.0252 ± 0.0007 GeV 2 was measured to be A ep = -265 ± 40 ± 22 ± 68 ppb (stat., sys., and blinding). Extrapolated to Q 2 = 0, the value of the proton's weak charge was measured to be Q p W = 0.077 ± 0.019 (stat. and sys.) ± 0.026 (blinding). This is within 1 σ of the Standard Model prediction of Q p W = 0.0705 ± 0.0008. The N → Δ inelastic asymmetry at Q 2 = 0.02078 ± 0.0005 GeV 2 and W = 1205 MeV was measured to be A inel = -3.03 ± 0.65 ± 0.73 ± 0.07 ppm (stat., sys., and blinding). This result constrains the low energy constant to be d Δ = 5.8 ± 22g π, and, if the result of the G0 experiment is included, d Δ = 5.8 ± 17g π. This result rules out suggested large values of d Δ motivated by radiative hyperon decays. The elastic measurement is the first direct measurement of the weak charge of the proton while the inelastic measurement is only the second measurement of the neutral current excitation of the Δresonance. It is currently the best constraint for the low energy constant, d Δ.« less
  • After a decade of preparations, the Qweak experiment at Jefferson Lab is making the first direct measurement of the weak charge of the proton, Q^p_W. This quantity is suppressed in the Standard Model making a good candidate for search for new physics beyond the SM at the TeV scale. Operationally, we measure a small (about -0.200 ppm) parity-violating asymmetry in elastic electron-proton scattering in integrating mode while flipping the helicity of the electrons 1000 times per second. Commissioning took place Fall 2010, and we finished taking data in early summer 2012. This dissertation is based on the data taken onmore » an initial two weeks period (Wien0). It will provide an overview of the Qweak apparatus, description of the data acquisition and analysis software systems, and final analysis and results from the Wien0 data set. The result is a 16% measurement of the parity violating electron-proton scattering asymmetry, A = -0.2788 +/- 0.0348 (stat.) +/- 0.0290 (syst.) ppm at Q^2 = 0.0250 +/- 0.0006 (GeV)^2. From this a 21% measurement of the weak charge of the proton, Q_w^p(msr)= +0.0952 +/- 0.0155 (stat.) +/- 0.0131 (syst.) +/- 0.0015 (theory) is extracted. From this a 2% measurement of the weak mixing angle, sin^2theta_W(msr)= +0.2328 +/- 0.0039 (stat.) +/- 0.0033 (syst.) +/- 0.0004 (theory) and improved constraints on isoscalar/isovector effective coupling constants of the weak neutral hadronic currents are extracted. These results deviate from the Standard Model by one standard deviation. The Wien0 results are a proof of principle of the Qweak data analysis and a highlight of the road ahead for obtaining full results.« less
  • The Q weak experiment, which completed running in May of 2012 at Jefferson Laboratory, has measured the parity-violating asymmetry in elastic electron-proton scattering at four-momentum transfer Q 2 =0.025 (GeV/c) 2 in order to provide the first direct measurement of the proton's weak charge, Q W p. The Standard Model makes firm predictions for the weak charge; deviations from the predicted value would provide strong evidence of new physics beyond the Standard Model. Using an 89% polarized electron beam at 145 microA scattering from a 34.4 cm long liquid hydrogen target, scattered electrons were detected using an array of eightmore » fused-silica detectors placed symmetric about the beam axis. The parity-violating asymmetry was then measured by reversing the helicity of the incoming electrons and measuring the normalized difference in rate seen in the detectors. The low Q 2 enables a theoretically clean measurement; the higher-order hadronic corrections are constrained using previous parity-violating electron scattering world data. The experimental method will be discussed, with recent results constituting 4% of our total data and projections of our proposed uncertainties on the full data set.« less