Measurement of the parity-violating longitudinal single-spin asymmetry for W± boson production in polarized proton-proton collisions at sqrt[s] = 500 GeV.

Panjab University, Chandigarh 160014, India.
Physical Review Letters (Impact Factor: 7.51). 02/2011; 106(6):062002.
Source: PubMed


We report the first measurement of the parity-violating single-spin asymmetries for midrapidity decay positrons and electrons from W+ and W- boson production in longitudinally polarized proton-proton collisions at sqrt[s] = 500 GeV by the STAR experiment at RHIC. The measured asymmetries, A(L)(W+) = -0.27 ± 0.10(stat.) ± 0.02(syst.) ± 0.03(norm.) and A(L)(W-) = 0.14 ± 0.19(stat.) ± 0.02(syst.) ± 0.01(norm.), are consistent with theory predictions, which are large and of opposite sign. These predictions are based on polarized quark and antiquark distribution functions constrained by polarized deep-inelastic scattering measurements.

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    ABSTRACT: The dynamical breaking of chiral symmetry in QCD is caused by nonperturbative interactions on a scale rho ~ 0.3 fm, much smaller than the hadronic size R ~ 1 fm. These short-distance interactions influence the intrinsic transverse momentum distributions of partons and their correlations at a low normalization point. We study this phenomenon in an effective description of low-energy dynamics based on chiral constituent quark degrees of freedom, which refers to the large-N_c limit of QCD. The nucleon is obtained as a system of constituent quarks and antiquarks moving in a self-consistent classical chiral field (chiral quark-soliton model). The calculated distributions of constituent quarks/antiquarks are matched with QCD partons at the scale rho^{-2}. The p_T distribution of valence quarks is localized at p_T^2 ~ R^{-2} and roughly of Gaussian shape. The sea quark distribution exhibits a would-be power-like tail ~1/p_T^2 extending up to the chiral symmetry-breaking scale. Such behavior is seen in the flavor-singlet unpolarized and nonsinglet polarized sea. The high-momentum tails are the result of short-range correlations between sea quarks in the nucleon's light-cone wave function, analogous to NN correlations in nuclei. The nucleon wave function contains correlated pairs of transverse size rho << R with sigma- and pi-like quantum numbers, whose internal wave functions become identical at p_T^2 ~ rho^{-2} (restoration of chiral symmetry). These features are model-independent and represent an effect of dynamical chiral symmetry breaking on the nucleon's partonic structure. Our results have numerous implications for the P_T distributions of particles produced in hard scattering processes. The nonperturbative parton correlations predicted here could be observed in particle correlations between the current and target fragmentation regions of DIS.
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