Study of the internal structure of the proton with the PANDA experiment at FAIR
Friday, 27 September, 2013
The proton is a bound state of quarks which are held together by the strong force, mediated by gluons. The understanding of the proton structure is presently one of the central issues in hadron physics. The present work reports on phenomenological and experimental studies related to the possibilities offered by the future antiproton beam at the FAIR facility at Darmstadt, in the momentum range between 1.5 and 15 GeV/c. After a classification of the reaction channels which are accessible in antiproton-proton annihilation, the main features of the PANDA detector are described. A chapter of this thesis is dedicated to the study of the optical coupling between crystals and photodiodes in the electromagnetic calorimeter, which will be operated at low temperature (-25◦ C). Mechanical, thermal, optical properties and radiation hardness of two commercial glues are quantified. Feasibility studies of the reaction pp → e+ e− for the Time-Like proton form factor measurements at PANDA are presented. The electromagnetic structure of the proton is parametrized in terms of electric GE and magnetic GM form factors. The electromagnetic interaction is well described by the theory of quantum electrodynamics. The traditional tool to determine proton electromagnetic form factors is polarized and unpolarized electron-proton elastic scattering, assuming that the interaction occurs through the exchange of one virtual photon. The crossed symmetry channels pp ↔ e+ e− allow to access the Time-Like region. The background reactions are also studied, in particular the pp → π + π − channel. The results obtained from a realistic Monte Carlo simulation using PANDARoot show that the proton form factor ratio can be measured at PANDA with unprecedented accuracy. The effects of radiative corrections due to real and virtual photon emission are considered. Based on a model independent formalism, the calculation of the experimental observables for the pp → e+ e− reaction is extended to the annihilation into a heavy lepton pair which carries the same physical information on the proton structure as the electrons. In this case, the lepton mass can not be neglected. The same formalism is also applied in Space-Like region to the elastic scattering of protons from electrons at rest (pe-inverse kinematics). We suggest that the elastic pe scattering can be used to polarize and/or to measure the polarization of high energy proton (antiproton) beams, and allows a precise measurement of the proton charge radius.