Neutron electric charge density

In summary, the conversation discusses a new interpretation of the neutron electric charge density, which suggests that it is negative at the center and positive at the periphery. This interpretation is supported by various calculations and has been recently published in a respected journal. The conversation also mentions the importance of considering relativistic effects and the relevance of transverse boosts in understanding the charge density. The implications of this new interpretation for our understanding of nucleon structure are also discussed.
  • #1
humanino
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I have not found a discussion open on this, and I would like to know if anybody has an opinion.
My questions are triggered by the 0802.2563 arXiv paper (Meson Clouds and Nucleon Electromagnetic Form Factors by G. Miller).

It has long been believed that the neutron electric charge density is positive near the core and negative at the periphery (integrating to zero). Naively, the neutron is likely to fluctuate in a proton and negative pion, with the light pion spreading over a large region. One-gluon exchange calculations performed by several "experts" confirm this. See for instance the references given in 0802.2563

Usually it is taught in kindergarden that the Sachs Form Factors (which parameterize the elastic electron-nucleon cross section) can be interpreted as the Fourier transforms of the electric charge and magnetic current densities. As compared to the Dirac and Pauli Form Factors, this parameterization has no cross term.

This interpretation of the Sachs FFs is spoiled by relativistic effects, since one cannot really probe a nucleon with a decent wavelength and not kick it with a large momentum at the same time. A quantitative analysis (Phys. Rev. D 69, 074014 (2004) or eq. 2.22 here) indicates that one needs
[tex]\frac{1}{R_{N}} \ll |\vec{\Delta}| \ll |\vec{p}| \ll M_{N}[/tex]
where [tex]p[/tex] is the average momentum of the nucleon and [tex]\Delta[/tex] is the momentum transfer. The window is very narrow, since [tex]R_{N}M_{N}\sim 4.1[/tex].

However, a new interpretation has been proposed by G. Miller in Phys. Rev. Lett. 99, 112001 (2007) (just to let you know that the proceeding 0802.2563 is not the only one, there is a published paper in a respectable journal). It appears that one should really Fourier transform the Dirac FF to get the charge density. If one does so, one gets a negative charge at the center of the neutron (the previous features, in particular the negative meson cloud at long distance, is still present).

At the very least, the electric charge density so obtained is the one in the transverse plane for a nucleon on the light-cone. In fact, this "technical detail" seems crucial to me. Soper had realized long ago that there is a galilean subgroup of transverse boosts in the Poincare group. This had recently been braught back to life by Burkardt and his work on distribution of partons in the transverse plane.

This can be understood alternatively in terms of isospin symmetry and quarks. See Fig.4 in 0802.2563 if you are interested.

Well, I guess I forgot everything I used to know :smile:
I think this is really new and important.
I would appreciate any comment.
 
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  • #2
It sounds like you have a great understanding of this subject and I'm sure many people in the forum would be interested in hearing more. It is definitely interesting that the electric charge density of a neutron appears to be negative at the center, which contradicts what is usually taught. I'd love to hear more about the implications of this and how it affects our understanding of nucleon structure.
 
  • #3


Thank you for bringing up this interesting topic and paper. I am not an expert in this field, but from my understanding, the neutron electric charge density has been a topic of debate and research for many years. The idea that the neutron has a positive charge density near its core and a negative charge density at its periphery is widely accepted, but as you mentioned, this interpretation may be affected by relativistic effects.

The new interpretation proposed by G. Miller in his paper suggests that the Dirac form factor should be Fourier transformed to obtain the charge density, rather than using the Sachs form factors. This approach takes into account the transverse plane and the galilean subgroup of transverse boosts, which may provide a more accurate representation of the neutron's charge density.

I agree that this is a new and important finding, and I am sure that it will spark further research and discussions in the scientific community. It is always exciting to see new interpretations and approaches to long-standing problems, and I am curious to see how this new understanding of the neutron's electric charge density will impact future studies.

Thank you again for sharing this information, and I am sure that many others in the scientific community will also be interested in this topic and the discussions surrounding it.
 

Related to Neutron electric charge density

1. What is neutron electric charge density?

Neutron electric charge density refers to the distribution of electric charge within a neutron. Unlike protons, which have a positive charge, neutrons have a neutral charge, meaning they have no net electric charge.

2. How is neutron electric charge density measured?

Neutron electric charge density can be measured using scattering experiments, where neutrons are directed at a target and the resulting scattering pattern is analyzed to determine the neutron's charge distribution. It can also be indirectly measured by studying the neutron's interactions with electric and magnetic fields.

3. What factors affect neutron electric charge density?

Neutron electric charge density is primarily affected by the strong nuclear force, which binds the quarks within the neutron together. However, it can also be influenced by external factors such as temperature and pressure.

4. How does neutron electric charge density differ from proton electric charge density?

Neutron electric charge density differs from proton electric charge density in that protons have a positive charge, while neutrons have no net charge. Additionally, the distribution of charge within a neutron is not uniform like it is in a proton.

5. Why is neutron electric charge density important in nuclear physics?

Neutron electric charge density is important in nuclear physics because it plays a crucial role in understanding how neutrons interact with other particles and how they contribute to the structure and stability of atomic nuclei. It is also essential for studying fundamental forces and the behavior of matter at the subatomic level.

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