Toward observation of three-nucleon short-range correlations in high- Q2 A(e,e′)X reactions

Donal B. Day, Leonid L. Frankfurt, Misak M. Sargsian, Mark I. Strikman

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3 Scopus citations


We present a detailed study of the kinematical and dynamical conditions necessary for probing highly elusive three-nucleon short-range correlations (3N-SRCs) in nuclei through inclusive electron scattering. The kinematic requirements that should be satisfied in order to isolate 3N-SRCs in inclusive processes are derived. We demonstrate that a sequence of two short-range NN interactions is the main mechanism for 3N-SRCs in such processes. With this mechanism we predict a quadratic dependence of the cross section ratios of nuclei to He3 in the 3N-SRC region to the same ratio measured in the 2N-SRC domain. An extended analysis of the available data which satisfies the required 3N-SRC kinematical conditions is presented. This analysis reveals tantalizing signatures of the scaling associated with the onset of 3N-SRC dominance. The same data are also consistent with the prediction of the quadratic relation between the ratios measured in the 3N- and 2N-SRC regions for nuclei ranging 4≤A≤197. This agreement made it possible to extract a3(A), the probability of 3N-SRCs relative to the A=3 nucleus. We find a3(A) to be significantly larger in magnitude than the analogous parameter, a2(A), for 2N-SRCs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number014319
JournalPhysical Review C
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023


FundersFunder number
Office of Science
Nuclear PhysicsDE-FG02-93ER40771, DE-FG02-96ER40950, DE-FG02-01ER41172
Nuclear Physics


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