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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Unique Access to u-Channel Physics: Exclusive Backward-Angle Omega Meson Electroproduction

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Backward-angle meson electroproduction above the resonance region, which was previously ignored, is anticipated to offer unique access to the three quark plus sea component of the nucleon wave function. In this Letter, we present the first complete separation of the four electromagnetic structure functions above the resonance region in exclusive ω electroproduction off the proton, ep→e^{'}pω, at central Q^{2} values of 1.60, 2.45  GeV^{2}, at W=2.21  GeV. The results of our pioneering -u≈-u_{min} study demonstrate the existence of a unanticipated backward-angle cross section peak and the feasibility of full L/T/LT/TT separations in this never explored kinematic territory. At Q^{2}=2.45  GeV^{2}, the observed dominance of σ_{T} over σ_{L}, is qualitatively consistent with the collinear QCD description in the near-backward regime, in which the scattering amplitude factorizes into a hard subprocess amplitude and baryon to meson transition distribution amplitudes: universal nonperturbative objects only accessible through backward-angle kinematics.

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