The three-dimensional picture of quarks and gluons in the proton is set to be revealed through Deeply virtual Compton scattering while a critically important puzzle in the one-dimensional picture remains, namely, the origins of the EMC effect. Incoherent nuclear DVCS, i.e. DVCS on a nucleon inside a nucleus, can reveal the 3D partonic structure of the bound nucleon and shed a new light on the EMC effect. However, the Fermi motion of the struck nucleon, off-shell effects and final-state interactions (FSIs) complicate this parton level interpretation. We propose here a measurement of incoherent DVCS with a tagging of the recoiling spectator system (nucleus A-1) to systematically control nuclear effects. Through spectator-tagged DVCS, a fully detected final state presents a unique opportunity to systematically study these nuclear effects and cleanly observe possible modification of the nucleon’s quark distributions.
We propose to measure the DVCS beam-spin asymmetries (BSAs) on 4He and deuterium targets. The reaction 4He(e,e′γp3H) with a fully detected final state has the rare ability to simultaneously quantify FSIs, measure initial nucleon momentum, and provide a sensitive probe to other nuclear effects at the parton level. The DVCS BSA on a (quasi-free) neutron will be measured by tagging a spectator proton with a deuteron target. Similarly, a bound neutron measurement detects a spectator 3He off a 4He target. These two observables will allow for a self-contained measurement of the neutron off-forward EMC Effect.