A. Airapetian, et al. (HERMES Collaboration)
Eur. Phys. J. C77 (6) (2017) 378
Publication year: 2017

Exclusive ρ0-meson electroproduction is studied by the HERMES experiment, using the 27.6 GeV longitudinally polarized electron/positron beam of HERA and a transversely polarized hydrogen target, in the kinematic region 1.0 GeV2<Q2<7.0 GeV2, 3.0 GeV<W<6.3 GeV, and -t'<0.4 GeV2. Using an unbinned maximum-likelihood method, 25 parameters are extracted. These determine the real and imaginary parts of the ratios of several helicity amplitudes describing ρ0-meson production by a virtual photon. The denominator of those ratios is the dominant amplitude, the nucleon-helicity-non-flip amplitude F012012, which describes the production of a longitudinal ρ0-meson by a longitudinal virtual photon. The ratios of nucleon-helicity-non-flip amplitudes are found to be in good agreement with those from the previous HERMES analysis. The transverse target polarization allows for the first time the extraction of ratios of a number of nucleon-helicity-flip amplitudes to F012012. Results obtained in a handbag approach based on generalized parton distributions taking into account the contribution from pion exchange are found to be in good agreement with these ratios. Within the model, the data favor a positive sign for the πρ transition form factor. By also exploiting the longitudinal beam polarization, a total of 71 ρ0 spin-density matrix elements is determined from the extracted 25 parameters, in contrast to only 53 elements as directly determined in earlier analyses.

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