Baryon-to-meson Transition Distribution Amplitudes (TDAs) encoding valuable new information on hadron structure appear as building blocks in the collinear factorized description for several types of hard exclusive reactions. In this paper, we address the possibility of accessing nucleon-to-pion (pi N) TDAs from (p) over barp -> e(+)e(-)pi(0) reaction with the future PANDA detector at the FAIR facility. At high center-of-mass energy and high invariant mass squared of the lepton pair q(2), the amplitude of the signal channel (p) over barp -> e(+)e(-)pi(0) admits a QCD factorized description in terms of pi N TDAs and nucleon Distribution Amplitudes (DAs) in the forward aid backward kinematic regimes. Assuming the validity of this factorized description, we perform feasibility studies for measuring (p) over barp -> e(+)e(-)pi(0) with the PANDA detector. Detailed simulations on signal reconstruction efficiency as well as on rejection of the most severe background channel, i.e. (p) over barp -> pi(+)pi(-)pi(0) were performed for the center-of-mass energy squared s = 5 GeV2 and s = 10 GeV2, in the kinematic regions 3.0 <q(2) <4.3 GeV2 and 5 <q(2) <9 GeV2, respectively, with a neutral pion scattered in the forward or backward cone vertical bar cos theta(pi 0)vertical bar > 0.5 in the proton-antiproton center-of-mass frame. Results of the simulation show that the particle identification capabilities of the PANDA detector will allow to achieve a background rejection factor of 5 . 10(7) (1 . 10(7)) at low (high) q(2) for s = 5 GeV2, and of 1 . 10(8) (6 . 10(6)) at low (high) q(2) for s = 10 GeV2, while keeping the signal reconstruction efficiency at around 40%. At both energies, a clean lepton signal can be reconstructed with the expected statistics corresponding to 2 of integrated luminosity. The cross sections obtained from the simulations are used to show that a test of QCD collinear factorization can be done at the lowest order by measuring scaling laws and angular distributions. The future measurement of the signal channel cross section with PANDA will provide a new test of the perturbative QCD description of a novel class of hard exclusive reactions and will open the possibility of experimentally accessing pi N TDAs.
- EXCLUSIVE PROCESSES
- MESON PRODUCTION