The Proton Form Factor Ratio Measurements at Jefferson Lab
1 Norfolk State University, Norfolk, Virginia 23504, USA
2 the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia 23187, USA
Published online: 20 March 2014
The ratio of the proton form factors, GEp/GMp, has been measured from Q2 of 0.5 GeV2 to 8.5 GeV2, at the Jefferson Laboratory, using the polarization transfer method. This ratio is extracted directly from the measured ratio of the transverse and longitudinal polarization components of the recoiling proton in elastic electron-proton scattering. The discovery that the proton form factor ratio measured in these experiments decreases approximately linearly with four-momentum transfer, Q2, for values above ≈ 1 GeV2, is one of the most significant results to come out of JLab. These results have had a large impact on progress in hadronic physics; and have required a significant rethinking of nucleon structure. There is an approved experiment at JLab, GEp(5), to continue the ratio measurements to 12 GeV2. A dedicated experimental setup, the Super Bigbite Spectrometer (SBS), will be built for this purpose. In this paper, the present status of the proton elastic electromagnetic form factors and a number of theoretical approaches to describe nucleon form factors will be discussed.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2014