The Sivers function describes the correlation between the transverse spin of a nucleon and the transverse motion of its partons. For quarks, it was studied in previous measurements of the azimuthal asymmetry of hadrons produced in semi-inclusive deep inelastic scattering of leptons off transversely polarised nucleon targets, and it was found to be non-zero. In this letter the evaluation of the Sivers asymmetry for gluons is presented. The contribution of the photon–gluon fusion subprocess is enhanced by requiring two high transverse-momentum hadrons. The analysis method is based on a Monte Carlo simulation that includes three hard processes: photon–gluon fusion, QCD Compton scattering and the leading-order virtual-photon absorption process. The Sivers asymmetries of the three processes are simultaneously extracted using the LEPTO event generator and a neural network approach. The method is applied to samples of events containing at least two hadrons with large transverse momentum from the COMPASS data taken with a 160 GeV/c muon beam scattered off transversely polarised deuterons and protons. With a significance of about two standard deviations, a negative value is obtained for the gluon Sivers asymmetry. The result of a similar analysis for a Collins-like asymmetry for gluons is consistent with zero.
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Physics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics|
|State||Published - 10 Oct 2017|
- Deep inelastic scattering