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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Scalar, Axial, and Tensor Interactions of Light Nuclei from Lattice QCD


Complete flavor decompositions of the matrix elements of the scalar, axial, and tensor currents in the proton, deuteron, diproton, and ^{3}He at SU(3)-symmetric values of the quark masses corresponding to a pion mass m_{π}∼806  MeV are determined using lattice quantum chromodynamics. At the physical quark masses, the scalar interactions constrain mean-field models of nuclei and the low-energy interactions of nuclei with potential dark matter candidates. The axial and tensor interactions of nuclei constrain their spin content, integrated transversity, and the quark contributions to their electric dipole moments. External fields are used to directly access the quark-line connected matrix elements of quark bilinear operators, and a combination of stochastic estimation techniques is used to determine the disconnected sea-quark contributions. The calculated matrix elements differ from, and are typically smaller than, naive single-nucleon estimates. Given the particularly large, O(10%), size of nuclear effects in the scalar matrix elements, contributions from correlated multinucleon effects should be quantified in the analysis of dark matter direct-detection experiments using nuclear targets.

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