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Brookhaven Summer Program

on Nucleon Spin Physics

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Scope & Purpose

Understanding the structure of the nucleon is of fundamental importance in sub-atomic physics. Already the experimental studies on the electro-magnetic form factors in the 1950s showed that the nucleon has a nontrivial internal structure, and the deep inelastic scattering experiments in the 1970s revealed the partonic substructure of the nucleon. Modern research focuses in particular on the spin and the gluonic structure of the nucleon. Experiments using deep inelastic scattering or polarized p-p collisions are carried out in the US at the CEBAF and RHIC facilities, respectively, and there are other experimental facilities around the world.

Spin Physics

In this picture of a proton-proton collision, the spin of the particles is shown as arrows circling the spherical particles. The red and green particles represent reaction products from the collision which will be "seen" and analyzed by RHIC detectors.

More than 20 years have passed since the European Muon Collaboration published their first experimental results on the proton spin structure as revealed in polarized deep inelastic lepton-nucleon scattering. With additional experimental and theoretical investigations and progress in the following years, it is now established that, contrary to naive quark model expectations, quarks and anti-quarks carry only about 30% of the total spin of the proton. To find out what carries the remaining spin is a key focus in current hadronic physics and also a major driving force for the new generation of spin experiments at RHIC and JLab, and at a future Electron Ion Collider (EIC).

We believe it is very timely and important to organize a series of annual spin physics meetings to summarize the status of proton spin physics, to focus the effort, and to lay out the future perspectives. This summer program at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) will be the second one following the Berkeley program taken place in June of 2009 at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), and will be focused on theory. We plan to address a wide range of theoretical aspects on nucleon spin, from perturbative-QCD calculations to models, and to the first principle lattice calculation.

We plan to divide our program into three major scientific parts: longitudinal spin physics, generalized parton distributions, and transverse momentum dependent parton distributions and transverse spin phenomena. The longitudinal spin physics focuses on the extraction of the quark and gluon helicity distribution in the nucleon and their spin contributions to the proton spin. The generalized parton distributions offer the opportunity to pin down the orbital angular momenta of quarks and gluons, as well as their spatial distributions, and have generated much interest in the last decade.

Recent developments in both theory and experiment have demonstrated that transverse-spin physics offers a new window into central aspects of QCD. Observables with transverse spin may for example also provide information on contributions by parton orbital angular momenta to the proton spin, as well as on the transverse momenta of partons in the nucleon. A particular emphasis of our program will be on spin physics at RHIC and at a future EIC. We plan the Brookhaven program to be very similar in style to the very successful one at LBNL, having a relaxed and informal setting with two or three presentations by participants each day and ample time for active discussions and collaborations among the participants.


Brookhaven has limited on-site accommodations which will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. Lodging is also available at other local hotels. It is your responsibility to reserve your own accommodations. Details & Restrictions


Brookhaven National Laboratory RIKEN BNL Research Center sponsors

Organizing Committee

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Last Modified: May 7, 2010