A=3(e,e′) xB≥1 cross-section ratios and the isospin structure of short-range correlations

A. Schmidt, A. W. Denniston, E. M. Seroka, N. Barnea, D. W. Higinbotham, I. Korover, G. A. Miller, E. Piasetzky, M. Strikman, L. B. Weinstein, R. Weiss, O. Hen

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We study the relation between measured high-xB, high-Q2, helium-3 to tritium, (e,e′) inclusive-scattering cross-section ratios and the relative abundance of high-momentum neutron-proton (np) and proton-proton (pp) short-range correlated nucleon pairs in three-body (A=3) nuclei. Analysis of these data using a simple pair-counting cross-section model suggested a much smaller np/pp ratio than previously measured in heavier nuclei, questioning our understanding of A=3 nuclei and, by extension, all other nuclei. Here, we examine this finding using spectral-function-based cross-section calculations, with both an ab initio A=3 spectral function and effective generalized contact formalism spectral functions using different nucleon-nucleon interaction models. The ab initio calculation agrees with the data, showing good understanding of the structure of A=3 nuclei. An 8% uncertainty on the simple pair-counting model, as implied by the difference between it and the ab initio calculation, gives a factor of 5 uncertainty in the extracted np/pp ratio. Thus we see no evidence for the claimed "unexpected structure in the high-momentum wave function for hydrogen-3 and helium-3".

Original languageAmerican English
Article number054001
JournalPhysical Review C
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2024

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