Nuclear final-state interactions in deep inelastic scattering off the lightest nuclei

We review recent progress in studies of nuclear final-state interactions in deep inelastic scattering (DIS) off the lightest nuclei tagged by a recoil nucleon. These processes hold a lot of potential for resolving the outstanding issues related to the dynamics of hadronization in QCD. Within the minimal Fock component framework, valid at large Bjorken $x$, the main features of the theoretical approach based on the virtual nucleon approximation are elaborated. In this approach, the strong final-state interaction of the DIS products with the nuclear fragments is described by an effective eikonal amplitude, whose parameters can be extracted from the analysis of semi-inclusive DIS off the deuteron target. The extraction of the $Q^2$ and $W$ mass dependences of these parameters gives a new observable in studying the QCD structure of DIS final states. Another important feature of tagged DIS off the lightest nuclei is the possibility of performing pole extrapolation with a high degree of accuracy. Such extrapolation allows an extraction of the neutron structure function in a model independent way due to suppression of the final-state interaction in the on-shell limit of the struck nucleon propagator. We review the first application of the pole extrapolation to recent experimental data. Finally, we outline the extension of the framework to inclusive DIS, including a polarized deuteron target as well as its application to the tagged DIS reactions for future experiments at fixed target and collider energies.

Comments: 36 pages, review article to appear in Int. J. Mod. Phys. E

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