Investigating the origins of transverse spin asymmetries at BNL RHIC

D Boer*

*Corresponding author for this work

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269 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We discuss possible origins of transverse spin asymmetries in hadron-hadron collisions and propose an explanation in terms of a chiral-odd T-odd distribution function with intrinsic transverse momentum dependence, which would signal a correlation between the transverse spin and the transverse momentum of quarks inside an unpolarized hadron. We will argue that despite its conceptual problems, it can account for single spin asymmetries, for example in pp dagger-->pi X, and at the same time for the large cos 2 phi asymmetry in the unpolarized Drell-Yan cross section, which still lacks understanding. We use the latter asymmetry to arrive at a crude model for this function and show explicitly how it relates unpolarized and polarized observables in the Drell-Yan process, as could be measured with the proton-proton collisions at BNL RHIC. Moreover, it would provide an alternative method of accessing the transversity distribution function h(1). For future reference we also list the complete set of azimuthal asymmetries in the unpolarized and polarized Drell-Yan process at leading order involving T-odd distribution functions with intrinsic transverse momentum dependence. [S0556-2821(99)04213-7].

Original languageEnglish
Article number014012
Number of pages11
JournalPhysical Review D
Volume60
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1-Jul-1999
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • DRELL-YAN PROCESS
  • DEEP-INELASTIC-SCATTERING
  • HADRON-HADRON SCATTERING
  • HIGHER-TWIST
  • POLARIZED ANTIPROTONS
  • QUANTUM CHROMODYNAMICS
  • E(+)E(-) ANNIHILATION
  • ANGULAR-DISTRIBUTIONS
  • PI(0) PRODUCTION
  • COUNTER-EXAMPLE

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