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Published December 1999 | Published
Journal Article Open

Spin structure functions


We review the study of the internal spin structure of the proton and neutron. High-energy scattering of polarized leptons by polarized protons, neutrons, and deuterons provides a measurement of the nucleon spin structure functions. These structure functions give information on the polarized quark contributions to the spin of the proton and the neutron and allow tests of the quark-parton model and quantum chromodynamics. We discuss the formalism of deep inelastic scattering of polarized leptons on polarized nucleons, the past decade of experimental progress, and future programs to measure the polarized gluon contribution to the proton spin.

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© 1999 by Annual Reviews.

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