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Theoretical Particle Physics


Single transverse spin asymmetry of forward neutrons


Single transverse spin asymmetry of forward neutrons

Research areas:

Física Teórica de Partículas



Type of Publication:

Technical Report





We calculate the single transverse spin asymmetry AN(t), for inclusive neutron production in pp collisions at forward rapidities relative to the polarized proton in the energy range of RHIC. Absorptive corrections to the pion pole generate a relative phase between the spin-flip and non-flip amplitudes, leading to a transverse spin asymmetry which is found to be far too small to explain the magnitude of AN observed in the PHENIX experiment. A larger contribution, which does not vanish at high energies, comes from the interference of pion and a1-Reggeon exchanges. The unnatural parity of a1 guarantees a substantial phase shift, although the magnitude is strongly suppressed by the smallness of diffractive πp→a1p cross section. We replace the Regge a1 pole by the Regge cut corresponding to the πρ exchange in the 1+S state. The production of such a state, which we treat as an effective pole a, forms a narrow peak in the 3π invariant mass distribution in diffractive πp interactions . The cross section is large, so one can assume that this state saturates the spectral function of the axial current and we can determine its coupling to nucleons via the PCAC Goldberger-Treiman relation and the second Weinberg sum rule. The numerical results of the parameter-free calculation of AN are in excellent agreement with the PHENIX data.