The COMPASS Collaboration at CERN has measured the transverse spin azimuthal asymmetry of charged hadrons produced in semi-inclusive deep inelastic scattering using a 160 GeV μ + beam and a transversely polarised NH 3 target. The Sivers asymmetry of the proton has been extracted in the Bjorken x range 0.003<x<0.7. The new measurements have small statistical and systematic uncertainties of a few percent and confirm with considerably better accuracy the previous COMPASS measurement. The Sivers asymmetry is found to be compatible with zero for negative hadrons and positive for positive hadrons, a clear indication of a spin-orbit coupling of quarks in a transversely polarised proton. As compared to measurements at lower energy, a smaller Sivers asymmetry for positive hadrons is found in the region x>0.03. The asymmetry is different from zero and positive also in the low x region, where sea-quarks dominate. The kinematic dependence of the asymmetry has also been investigated and results are given for various intervals of hadron and virtual photon fractional energy. In contrast to the case of the Collins asymmetry, the results on the Sivers asymmetry suggest a strong dependence on the four-momentum transfer to the nucleon, in agreement with the most recent calculations.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Physics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics|
|State||Published - 31 Oct 2012|