New results for Compton scattering on deuterium: A better determination of the neutron electromagnetic polarizabilities

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The electric and magnetic polarizabilities of the proton are now well known, owing to Compton scattering measurements on hydrogen targets; however, the neutron polarizabilities are still relatively uncertain, compared to the proton values. To address this problem, a multiinstitutional collaboration has conducted a program of elastic Compton scattering experiments on deuterium at the MAX IV Laboratory in Lund, Sweden using tagged photons in the energy range Eγ= 65-115 MeV. We assembled at one laboratory, for the first time, three of the world's largest NaI detectors, each having better than ΔE/E ∼ 2% photon energy resolution. We have measured elastic Compton scattering cross sections at lab angles of θγ= 60°, 120° and 150° over this energy range in 8 MeV steps. This effectively doubles the world's set of elastic Compton scattering data from deuterium and provides valuable input for chiral effective field theory (χEFT) calculations. These new deuterium data overlap previous measurements and extend them by 20 MeV to higher energies. Based on χEFT fits to the expanded world data set, new values for the neutron electric and magnetic polarizabilities have been obtained with greater accuracy than previously achieved, decreasing the statistical error by more than 30%.


  • G. Feldman
  • L. S. Myers
  • J. R M Annand
  • J. Brudvik
  • K. G. Fissum
  • H. W. Griesshammer
  • K. Hansen
  • S. S. Henshaw
  • L. Isaksson
  • M. A. Kovash
  • M. Lundin
  • J. A. Mcgovern
  • A. M. Nathan
  • D. R. Phillips
  • B. Schröder
  • K. Shoniyozov
  • S. C. Stave
External organisations
  • George Washington University
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • University of Glasgow
  • Duke University
  • University of Kentucky
  • University of Manchester
  • Ohio University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Subatomic Physics
Original languageEnglish
Article number074
JournalProceedings of Science
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Publication categoryResearch

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