Momentum sharing in imbalanced Fermi systems

Jefferson Lab CLAS Collaboration, O. Hen*, M. Sargsian, L. B. Weinstein, E. Piasetzky, H. Hakobyan, D. W. Higinbotham, M. Braverman, W. K. Brooks, S. Gilad, K. P. Adhikari, J. Arrington, G. Asryan, H. Avakian, J. Ball, N. A. Baltzell, M. Battaglieri, A. Beck, S. May-Tal Beck, I. BedlinskiyW. Bertozzi, A. Biselli, V. D. Burkert, T. Cao, D. S. Carman, A. Celentano, S. Chandavar, L. Colaneri, P. L. Cole, V. Crede, A. D'Angelo, R. De Vita, A. Deur, C. Djalali, D. Doughty, M. Dugger, R. Dupre, H. Egiyan, A. El Alaoui, L. El Fassi, L. Elouadrhiri, G. Fedotov, S. Fegan, T. Forest, B. Garillon, M. Garcon, N. Gevorgyan, Y. Ghandilyan, Gary Smith, Nicholas Zachariou, L. Zana

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The atomic nucleus is composed of two different kinds of fermions: protons and neutrons. If the protons and neutrons did not interact, the Pauli exclusion principle would force the majority of fermions (usually neutrons) to have a higher average momentum. Our high-energy electron-scattering measurements using C-12, Al-27, Fe-56, and Pb-208 targets show that even in heavy, neutron-rich nuclei, short-range interactions between the fermions form correlated high-momentum neutron-proton pairs. Thus, in neutron-rich nuclei, protons have a greater probability than neutrons to have momentum greater than the Fermi momentum. This finding has implications ranging from nuclear few-body systems to neutron stars and may also be observable experimentally in two-spin-state, ultracold atomic gas systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)614-617
Number of pages4
JournalScience
Volume346
Issue number6209
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2014

Keywords

  • NUCLEON-NUCLEON CORRELATIONS
  • GAS
  • TRANSPARENCY
  • SCATTERING

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