Perturbative QCD and factorization of coherent pion photoproduction on the deuteron

Research paper by S. J. Brodsky, J. R. Hiller, Chueng-Ryong Ji, G. A. Miller

Indexed on: 25 Sep '01Published on: 25 Sep '01Published in: High Energy Physics - Phenomenology


We analyze the predictions of perturbative QCD for pion photoproduction on the deuteron, gamma D -> pi^0 D, at large momentum transfer using the reduced amplitude formalism. The cluster decomposition of the deuteron wave function at small binding only allows the nuclear coherent process to proceed if each nucleon absorbs an equal fraction of the overall momentum transfer. Furthermore, each nucleon must scatter while remaining close to its mass shell. Thus the nuclear photoproduction amplitude, M_{gamma D -> pi^0 D}(u,t), factorizes as a product of three factors: (1) the nucleon photoproduction amplitude, M_{gamma N_1 -> pi^0 N_1}(u/4,t/4), at half of the overall momentum transfer, (2) a nucleon form factor, F_{N_2}(t/4), at half the overall momentum transfer, and (3) the reduced deuteron form factor, f_d(t), which according to perturbative QCD, has the same monopole falloff as a meson form factor. A comparison with the recent JLAB data for gamma D -> pi^0 D of Meekins et al. [Phys. Rev. C 60, 052201 (1999)] and the available gamma p -> pi^0 p data shows good agreement between the perturbative QCD prediction and experiment over a large range of momentum transfers and center of mass angles. The reduced amplitude prediction is consistent with the constituent counting rule, p^11_T M_{gamma D -> pi^0 D} -> F(theta_cm), at large momentum transfer. This is found to be consistent with measurements for photon lab energies E_gamma > 3 GeV at theta_cm=90 degrees and $\elab > 10$ GeV at 136 degrees.