Defining the proton radius: A unified treatment


Background: There is significant current interest in knowing the value of the proton radius and also its proper definition.

Purpose: Combine the disparate literatures of hydrogen spectroscopy and diverse modern parton distributions to understand the meaning of the proton radius in a manner consistent with the separate bodies of work. Methods: Use perturbation theory, light-front dynamics, and elementary techniques to find relativistically correct definitions of the proton radius and charge density.

Results: It is found that the very same proton radius is accessed by measurements of hydrogen spectroscopy and elastic lepton scattering. The derivation of the mean-square radius as a moment of a spherically symmetric three-dimensional density is shown to be incorrect. A relativistically correct, two-dimensional charge density is related to the diverse modern literature of various parton distributions. Relativistically invariant moments thereof are derived in a new relativistic moment expansion, the RME.

Conclusion: The equation r2p≡−6G′E(0) is the definition of the proton radius.

Speaker : 

Prof. Gerald Miller University of Washington


Presentation at 3:45 PM, NPL 178 Coffee and cookies starting at 3:30 PM