Measurement of the Beam Asymmetry for the ETA and ETA Prime Mesons with the Gluex Experiment

Beattie, Tegan Donald
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Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research, University of Regina

The GlueX Experiment in Hall D at Jefferson Lab ultimately aims to provide evidence of hybrid mesons, quark-antiquark pairs with gluonic excitations, which are predicted by quantum chromodynamics calculations on the lattice. GlueX features a linearly-polarized photon beam incident on a liquid hydrogen target and a nearly-four-pi hermetic detector capable of measuring positions and momenta of both charged and neutral final state particles generated in the target. The short-term physics goals of GlueX are to measure observables and properties of the known particles, especially those that are likely decay products of hybrids, such as the eta and eta-prime mesons. An overview of the detector subsystems and the long-term physics goals of GlueX are presented, along with analyses on the Sigma beam asymmetry of the eta and eta-prime mesons. The measurements of Sigma are presented versus the four-momentum transfer squared using a photon beam energy of 8.2–8.8 GeV in the three main decay channels of the eta (eta → 2gamma, eta → pi+pi-pi0, and eta → 3pi0) and the largest branching fraction decay channel of the eta-prime (eta-prime → pi+pi-eta, with eta → 2gamma). These are the first results for the beam asymmetry of the eta-prime measured at this beam energy. The results, which are in agreement with past published measurements for the eta by GlueX and with modern theory predictions for the eta and eta-prime, indicate a dominance of natural parity exchange in the resonance production mechanism.

A Thesis Submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Physics, University of Regina. xvii, 155 p.