Date of Completion


Embargo Period



form factor, electric, neutron, experiment, physics, particle, nuclear

Major Advisor

Andrew Puckett

Associate Advisor

Thomas Blum

Associate Advisor

Peter Schweitzer

Field of Study



Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Open Access


The overwhelming majority of visible mass in the universe is composed of protons and neutrons, collectively known as nucleons, which are arguably the most important strongly interacting systems to study. A nucleon may naively be thought of as a composite object built out of three non-interacting sub-objects, known as quarks, in the large energy limit; however, the structure of the nucleon is much more complicated, and consequently far richer, than a simple valence-quark picture. There are sea quarks in addition to valence quarks that interact strongly via the exchange of gluons resulting in a complex vacuum structure, and the collective system must give rise to the observed properties of the nucleon, e.g. the radius and mass. The nucleon is the most well-studied hadron and yet there are still unresolved complexities in the calculation of properties from first principles of QCD; this represents a central problem in nuclear physics. The theoretical difficulty with the nucleon requires experimentation, which is steadily increasing the knowledge of nucleon structure and the strong interaction.

The subject of this thesis pertains to nucleon electromagnetic form factors which are fundamental quantities containing information on the spatial and momentum distributions of charge and current within the nucleon. Nucleon form factors may be accessed through well-understood leading order electromagnetic processes with a leptonic probe, and provide strong constraints on testing non-perturbative QCD and nuclear structure models. The form factor ratio of the neutron has been extracted via a beam-target helicity asymmetry measurement. The Jefferson Lab Hall A experiment E02-013 ran in 2006 utilizing the 6 GeV CEBAF for its high-duty, longitudinally polarized electron beam. The double-arm coincidence experiment detected the quasielastically scattered electrons in a large angular and momentum acceptance spectrometer. The recoiling nucleons were detected and momentum analyzed in a large scintillator-iron based neutron detector. The analysis of a previously unpublished extraction of the electric form factor of the neutron is presented.