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Probing the proton structure through deep virtual Compton scattering at COMPASS, CERN

Abstract : Virtual Compton Scattering (DVCS) is an ideal process to study the internal structure of proton. This exclusive reaction provides access to generalised parton distributions (GPDs), which encode the correlations between longitudinal momentum and transverse position of partons inside the proton. DVCS consists in probing a proton with a virtual photon of high virtuality, in order to produce a single high energy real photon while leaving the proton intact in the final state.At COMPASS at CERN, where two years of data were collected in 2016 and 2017 to measure the DVCS cross section, the virtual photon is produced by scattering of a 160 GeV polarised μ⁺ or μ⁻ beam on a liquid hydrogen target. All particles are detected in the experiment: the incident muon is detected in the beam telescope, the diffracted muon and the real photon are detected in the forward spectrometer and the three calorimeters, while the recoil proton is detected in a time-of-flight detector positioned around the target.In this thesis I present the state of the analysis of the DVCS process on the data collected at COMPASS in 2016. After a reminder of the theoretical and experimental context, I describe the COMPASS experiment. I then detail my work on calibrating the recoil proton detector and determining the the exact position of the 2 cm diameter and 2.5 m long target. In the next section, I study the selection of different physics channels used to systematically control detector quality: Deep Inelastic Scattering (DIS) which involves the beam-telescope and spectrometer, exclusive ρ⁰ production which requires the addition of the time-of-flight detector and I follow with the first analysis of the exclusive single photon production which depends as well on the calorimetres quality. In a last part, I discuss the necessary steps needed to extract the DVCS cross-section out of this event selection, and present the first results associated to the Monte-Carlo simulation.
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Antoine Vidon. Probing the proton structure through deep virtual Compton scattering at COMPASS, CERN. High Energy Physics - Experiment [hep-ex]. Université Paris-Saclay, 2019. English. ⟨NNT : 2019SACLS340⟩. ⟨tel-02384379⟩

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