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Title:The proton's longitudinal spin structure studied through the weak interaction in pp collisions
Author(s):Jumper, Daniel S
Director of Research:Grosse Perdekamp, Matthias
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Peng, Jen-Chieh
Doctoral Committee Member(s):El-Khadra, Aida; Abbamonte, Peter
Department / Program:Physics
Discipline:Physics
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ph.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):PHENIX
proton
nucleon
structure
polarized
spin
collider
longitudinal
Relativistic heavy ion collider (RHIC)
W Boson
Asymmetry
Single spin
sea
antiquark
Abstract:For many years there has been limited knowledge of the spin structure of the proton. The degree to which the antiquarks and gluons of radiative origin inside the proton contribute to the total spin is particularly not well confined. The PHENIX experiment at RHIC has made measurements that have, and will, better confine these spin contributions. One of these measurements, made possible by a series of experimental upgrades, is a study of the single spin asymmetry in W boson production ($A_L^W$) in polarized proton-proton collisions. In this measurement, the parity violating weak interaction serves, compared to than previously used techniques, as a cleaner and more direct probe of flavor separated quark and antiquark spin-dependent momentum distributions. This is most significant in the case of the antiquark distributions, which are currently not well constrained. PHENIX has taken data toward this measurement in 2013, analysis of the data was performed, and preliminary $A_L^W$ results have been released. Work is currently underway to finalize these results for forthcoming publication. Once finalized, these results will be included in a global fit along with data from other experiments to reduce the uncertainty of the antiquarks' contribution to proton spin. This dissertation will detail the theoretical basis for this measurement and describe the experimental and analytic procedures used to obtain the result, with special emphasis on contributions from the author.
Issue Date:2016-09-22
Type:Thesis
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/95285
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 Daniel Jumper
Date Available in IDEALS:2017-03-01
Date Deposited:2016-12


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