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Title: Understanding pion photoproduction using chiral perturbation theory
Author: Cawthorne, Lloyd
ISNI:       0000 0004 6498 6788
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2017
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In this thesis we present the work we have done to further the understanding of neutral pion photoproduction from the proton. Our work used heavy-baryon chiral perturbation theory to fourth order, and we explicitly include the ∆(1232) resonance using the delta power-counting scheme. We also test the effects of including and excluding D-waves, partial waves with orbital angular momentum quantum number of 2. We begin our discussion in chapter 1 with a brief history of nuclear physics before showing how current algebras and the partial-conservation of the axial-vector current (PCAC) can be used to describe low-energy hadronic interactions. To improve upon PCAC results, one can make use of chiral effective field theories, taking advantage of the chiral symmetry that is present in the limit of massless quarks. We formally introduce chiral perturbation theory (χPT) in chapter 2, discussing the power-counting problem that arises once baryons are included, and present two different approaches to overcome this. We conclude chapter 2 showing how the theory can be extended to include the ∆(1232) resonance. In chapter 3 we describe the model-independent framework of pion photoproduction needed to describe both theory and experiment. We discuss the various recent efforts to describe pion photoproduction within χPT in the latter half of chapter 3. We lay out the framework we have developed in chapter 4 and present our results in chapter 5. We have compared our work to the recent experimental data released by the A2 and CB-TAPS collaborations at the Mainz Microtron. Our results show that we can accurately describe the data from threshold up to an in-coming laboratory photon energy of approximately 260 MeV, a clear improvement on previous studies. We find that including the ∆ is necessary to describe the data beyond E γ ≈ 200 MeV, but the case for D-waves is not so clear. We cannot pinpoint an energy where their inclusion is necessary but we do find evidence suggesting they are important to improve the stability of the fit. Our best results require the inclusion of both the ∆ and D-waves. Finally, in chapter 6, we present our concluding remarks from what has been achieved over the last four years of study and what forms possible extensions of our work could take.
Supervisor: McGovern, Judith Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: mainz ; theory ; perturbation ; delta ; chiral ; proton ; photoproduction ; pion ; hadron