Two types of functions used to describe the electromagnetic structure of nucleons include “form factors”, which describe the spatial distribution of charge and magnetism within the nucleon, and “structure functions”, which describe their longitudinal momentum distribution. We explore form factors by exclusive scattering of high energy leptons with the nucleus or focusing on elastic channels in our analysis; we explore structure functions by inclusive scattering with the nucleus. When exploring the electromagnetic structure of the neutron, 3He is an ideal target for quasi-elastic scattering because the proton-proton wave-function is dominated by the spin-zero, S-state (by approximately 90%). Thus, scattering leptons from a polarized 3He target is a reasonable approximation to scattering from a polarized, free neutron.
My talk will focus on the polarizable 3He targets used in two experiments at Jefferson National Laboratory: one experiment explores the neutron electric form factor, GEn, and the other experiment explores the neutron structure function, A1n. I will discuss my work in the filling and characterization of these targets as well as optimizing these targets for future experiments at higher beam energies.