Extraction of the Neutron Electric Form Factor from Measurements of Inclusive Double Spin Asymmetries

$[Background]$ Measurements of the neutron charge distribution are made difficult by the fact that, with no net charge, the neutron electric form factor, $G^n_E$, is generally much smaller than the magnetic form factor, $G^n_M$. In addition, measurements of these form factors must use nuclear targets which requires accurately accounting for nuclear effects. $[Method]$ The inclusive quasi-elastic reaction $^3\overrightarrow{\rm{He}}(\overrightarrow{e},e')$ was measured at Jefferson Lab. The neutron electric form factor, $G_E^n$, was extracted at $Q^2 = 0.98~(\rm{GeV}/c)^2$ from ratios of electron-polarization asymmetries measured for two orthogonal target spin orientations. This $Q^2$ is high enough that the sensitivity to $G_E^n$ is not overwhelmed by the neutron magnetic contribution, and yet low enough that explicit neutron detection is not required to suppress pion production. $[Results]$ The neutron electric form factor, $G_E^n$, was determined to be $0.0414\pm0.0077\;{(stat)}\pm0.0022\;{(syst)}$. This result is consistent with other measurements near this value of $Q^2$. Due to the short 2.5-day running time for this proof of prinicle measurement, the precision is limited simply by statistics. $[Conclusions]$ The use of the inclusive quasi-elastic $^3\overrightarrow{\rm{He}}(\overrightarrow{e},e')$ for four momentum transfers near $1~(GeV/c)^2$ has been shown to be able to yield results with accuracy and precision comparable to those obtainable using exclusive reaction channel. While the method has a rather limit range of kinematic applicability, it does provide an important validation of the exclusive channel extractions.

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