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About Us: Seminars

November 23 - How Does the Proton Spin?

Keith Griffioen, Chair and Professor of Physics, College of William & Mary

Building a proton from quarks has proved far more difficult than 
building a hydrogen atom from a proton and an electron.  Not only is 
the nuclear force that holds the quarks together far stronger than the 
electric force, there are three strong charges and only one electric 
charge.  The mathematics of the proton has, so far, been too tough a 
nut to crack.  Meanwhile, experiments probing the proton's internal 
structure have continued to surprise us.  After a decade of 
measurements we know that only a third of the proton's spin comes from 
the quarks' spin.   Throughout the world, physicists are now actively 
trying to find the rest.  This talk will tell the story for anyone who 
has heard of spin-1/2 and who will not be upset by a Fourier Transform.

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