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Quantum Chromodynamics at Work

Objective

Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD) is one of the cornerstones of the Standard Model of particle physics. It describes the world of quarks, anti-quarks and gluons (partons) making up the protons and neutrons and therewith the ordinary matter in our universe. Collisions of protons and heavy nuclei at unprecedented energies in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN enable experiments that will uncover mechanisms and symmetries underlying the Standard Model. In experiments at the LHC, as in many other high-energy physics experiments, QCD plays a crucial role as a toolbox. It employs the property that at very high energies, or equivalently very short distances, the transition of protons to partons is a long distance phenomenon that can be encoded through parton probabilities and decay functions, which incorporate the complex structure of the proton itself.

Earlier I have revealed a new element in QCD: specific momentum-spin correlations can also be encoded in terms of (polarized) parton probabilities, collectively known as transverse momentum dependent (TMD) distribution and fragmentation functions. Experimental results have confirmed the applicability and the necessity of including the novel correlations in QCD in order to cope with current and upcoming experimental results. This proposal outlines my ambitions to develop the next generation of the QCD toolbox.

I want to break with the restrictions of the collinear approximation for partons in high-energy processes and develop the full QCD dynamics underlying the novel correlations, study their universality and make them into workable tools that enable a full manipulation of spins and momenta of the partons for understanding experimental results at all frontiers, energy and precision. The results of this enterprise will affect the entire field of high-energy/nuclear physics and open up new windows to reveal the fundaments of the Standard Model through dedicated experiments at present-day and future facilities.

Call for proposal

ERC-2012-ADG_20120216
See other projects for this call

Host institution

STICHTING VU
Address
De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam
Netherlands
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 2 068 946
Principal investigator
Petrus Johannes Gerardus Mulders (Prof.)
Administrative Contact
Bart Van Leijen (Mr.)

Beneficiaries (1)

STICHTING VU
Netherlands
EU contribution
€ 2 068 946
Address
De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Principal investigator
Petrus Johannes Gerardus Mulders (Prof.)
Administrative Contact
Bart Van Leijen (Mr.)