Mechanisms of spin-flavor SU(6) symmetry breaking in quantum chromodynamics (QCD) are studied via an extraction of the free neutron structure function from a global analysis of deep inelastic scattering (DIS) data on the proton and on nuclei from A=2 (deuterium) to 208 (lead). Modification of the structure function of nucleons bound in atomic nuclei (known as the EMC effect) are consistently accounted for within the framework of a universal modification of nucleons in short-range correlated (SRC) pairs. Our extracted neutron-to-proton structure function ratio F2n/F2p becomes constant for xB≥0.6, equaling 0.47±0.04 as xB→1, in agreement with theoretical predictions of perturbative QCD and the Dyson-Schwinger equation, and in disagreement with predictions of the scalar diquark dominance model. We also predict F2He3/F2H3, recently measured, as yet unpublished, by the MARATHON Collaboration, the nuclear correction function that is needed to extract F2n/F2p from F2He3/F2H3, and the theoretical uncertainty associated with this extraction.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Physics and Astronomy