Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor's Name

Brian A. Raue

First Advisor's Committee Title



Form Factor, two-photon exchange, proton radius puzzle, proton form factor puzzle

Date of Defense



The electromagnetic form factors are the most fundamental observables that encode information about the internal structure of the nucleon. The electric ($G_{E}$) and the magnetic ($G_{M}$) form factors contain information about the spatial distribution of the charge and magnetization inside the nucleon. A significant discrepancy exists between the Rosenbluth and the polarization transfer measurements of the electromagnetic form factors of the proton. One possible explanation for the discrepancy is the contributions of two-photon exchange (TPE) effects. Theoretical calculations estimating the magnitude of the TPE effect are highly model dependent, and limited experimental evidence for such effects exists. Experimentally, the TPE effect can be measured by comparing the ratio of positron-proton elastic scattering cross section to that of the electron-proton $\large(R = \frac{\sigma (e^{+}p)}{\sigma (e^{-}p)}\large)$. The ratio $R$ was measured over a wide range of kinematics, utilizing a 5.6 GeV primary electron beam produced by the Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility (CEBAF) at Jefferson Lab. This dissertation explored dependence of $R$ on kinematic variables such as squared four-momentum transfer ($Q^{2}$) and the virtual photon polarization parameter ($\varepsilon$).

A mixed electron-positron beam was produced from the primary electron beam in experimental Hall B. The mixed beam was scattered from a liquid hydrogen (LH$_{2}$) target. Both the scattered lepton and the recoil proton were detected by the CEBAF Large Acceptance Spectrometer (CLAS). The elastic events were then identified by using elastic scattering kinematics.

This work extracted the $Q^{2}$ dependence of $R$ at high $\varepsilon$ ($\varepsilon > $ 0.8) and the $\varepsilon$ dependence of $R$ at $\langle Q^{2} \rangle \approx 0.85$ GeV$^{2}$. In these kinematics, our data confirm the validity of the hadronic calculations of the TPE effect by Blunden, Melnitchouk, and Tjon. This hadronic TPE effect, with additional corrections contributed by higher excitations of the intermediate state nucleon, largely reconciles the Rosenbluth and the polarization transfer measurements of the electromagnetic form factors.





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