Full weak-charge density distribution of Ca 48 from parity-violating electron scattering

Z. Lin, C. J. Horowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: The ground state neutron density of a medium mass nucleus contains fundamental nuclear structure information and is at present relatively poorly known. Purpose: We explore if parity violating elastic electron scattering can provide a feasible and model independent way to determine not just the neutron radius but the full radial shape of the neutron density ρn(r) and the weak charge density ρW(r) of a nucleus. Methods: We expand the weak charge density of Ca48 in a model independent Fourier Bessel series and calculate the statistical errors in the individual coefficients that might be obtainable in a model parity violating electron scattering experiment. Results: We find that it is feasible to determine roughly six Fourier Bessel coefficients of the weak charge density of Ca48 within a reasonable amount of beam time. However, it would likely be much harder to determine the full weak density of a significantly heavier nucleus such as Pb208. Conclusions: Parity violating elastic electron scattering can determine the full weak charge density of a medium mass nucleus in a model independent way. This weak density contains fundamental information on the size, surface thickness, shell oscillations, and saturation density of the neutron distribution in a nucleus. The measured ρW(r), combined with the previously known charge density ρch(r), will literally provide a detailed textbook picture of where the neutrons and protons are located in an atomic nucleus.

Original languageEnglish
Article number014313
JournalPhysical Review C - Nuclear Physics
Volume92
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 20 Jul 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 American Physical Society. ©2015 American Physical Society.

Funding

FundersFunder number
U.S. Department of EnergyDE-FG02-87ER40365

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