Indexed on: 27 Dec '16Published on: 27 Dec '16Published in: arXiv - High Energy Physics - Phenomenology
The nucleon generalized polarizabilities (GPs), probed in virtual Compton scattering (VCS), describe the spatial distribution of the polarization density in a nucleon. They are accessed experimentally via the process of electron-proton bremsstrahlung ($ep\to ep\gamma$) at electron-beam facilities, such as MIT-Bates, CEBAF (Jefferson Lab), and MAMI (Mainz). We present the calculation of the nucleon GPs and VCS observables at next-to-leading order in baryon chiral perturbation theory (B$\chi$PT), and confront the results with the empirical information. At this order our results are predictions, in the sense that all the parameters are well-known from elsewhere. Within the relatively large uncertainties of our calculation we find a good agreement with the experimental observations of VCS and the empirical extractions of the GPs. We find large discrepancies with previous chiral calculations---all done in heavy-baryon $\chi$PT (HB$\chi$PT)---and discuss the differences between B$\chi$PT and HB$\chi$PT responsible for these discrepancies.