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Published March 2011 | Published
Journal Article Open

Transverse-momentum-dependent parton distribution/fragmentation functions at an electron-ion collider


We present a summary of a recent workshop held at Duke University on Partonic Transverse Momentum in Hadrons: Quark Spin-Orbit Correlations and Quark-Gluon Interactions. The transverse-momentum-dependent parton distribution functions (TMDs), parton-to-hadron fragmentation functions, and multi-parton correlation functions, were discussed extensively at the Duke workshop. In this paper, we summarize first the theoretical issues concerning the study of partonic structure of hadrons at a future electron-ion collider (EIC) with emphasis on the TMDs. We then present simulation results on experimental studies of TMDs through measurements of single-spin asymmetries (SSA) from semi-inclusive deep inelastic scattering (SIDIS) processes with an EIC, and discuss the requirement of the detector for SIDIS measurements. The dynamics of parton correlations in the nucleon is further explored via a study of SSA in D (D production at large transverse momenta with the aim of accessing the unexplored tri-gluon correlation functions. The workshop participants identified the SSA measurements in SIDIS as a golden program to study TMDs in both the sea and valence quark regions and to study the role of gluons, with the Sivers asymmetry measurements as examples. Such measurements will lead to major advancement in our understanding of TMDs in the valence quark region, and more importantly also allow for the investigation of TMDs in the unexplored sea quark region along with a study of their evolution.

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© The Author(s) 2011. This article is published with open access at Springerlink.com. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited. Received: 30 January 2011 Published online: 11 March 2011. Communicated by E. De Sanctis. This work is supported in part by the U.S. Department of Energy under contracts, DE-AC05-84ER40150, modification No. M175, under which the Southeastern Universities Research Association operates the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, and DE-FG02-03ER41231 (HG). We also thank Jefferson Science Associates (JSA), Jefferson Lab, and the Triangle Universities Nuclear Laboratory for the support of this workshop.

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