Direct Observation of Proton-Neutron Short-Range Correlation Dominance in Heavy Nuclei

(CLAS Collaboration)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


We measured the triple coincidence A(e,e′np) and A(e,e′pp) reactions on carbon, aluminum, iron, and lead targets at Q2>1.5 (GeV/c)2, xB>1.1 and missing momentum >400 MeV/c. This was the first direct measurement of both proton-proton (pp) and neutron-proton (np) short-range correlated (SRC) pair knockout from heavy asymmetric nuclei. For all measured nuclei, the average proton-proton (pp) to neutron-proton (np) reduced cross-section ratio is about 6%, in agreement with previous indirect measurements. Correcting for single-charge exchange effects decreased the SRC pairs ratio to ∼3%, which is lower than previous results. Comparisons to theoretical generalized contact formalism (GCF) cross-section calculations show good agreement using both phenomenological and chiral nucleon-nucleon potentials, favoring a lower pp to np pair ratio. The ability of the GCF calculation to describe the experimental data using either phenomenological or chiral potentials suggests possible reduction of scale and scheme dependence in cross-section ratios. Our results also support the high-resolution description of high-momentum states being predominantly due to nucleons in SRC pairs.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number172502
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number17
StatePublished - 3 May 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We acknowledge the efforts of the staff of the Accelerator and Physics Divisions at Jefferson Lab that made this experiment possible. We are also grateful for many fruitful discussions with L. L. Frankfurt, M. Strikman, J. Ryckebusch, W. Cosyn, M. Sargsyan, and C. Ciofi degli Atti. The analysis presented here was carried out as part of the Jefferson Lab Hall B Data-Mining project supported by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The research was supported also by the National Science Foundation, the Pazy Foundation, the Israel Science Foundation, the Chilean Comisin Nacional de Investigacin Cientfica y Tecnolgica, the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique and Commissariat a l’Energie Atomique the French-American Cultural Exchange, the Italian Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, the National Research Foundation of Korea, and the UK’s Science and Technology Facilities Council. Jefferson Science Associates operates the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility for the DOE, Office of Science, Office of Nuclear Physics under Contract No. DE-AC05-06OR23177. The raw data from this experiment are archived in Jefferson Lab’s mass storage silo.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 American Physical Society.


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