Honors Theses


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Physics and Astronomy


Bachelor of Science (B.S.)



Document Type

Honors Thesis


The question of how the spin of the proton and neutron arise from the angular momentum of the constituent partons is very pressing in the study of nuclear structure. As of yet, there has been no experimental method able to directly probe the angular momentum states of quarks. However, in recent years, several groups have shown that it is possible to produce coherent beams of electrons which carry definite, quantized units of Orbital Angular Momentum (OAM). These "twisted" electrons have the potential to be applied to nuclear scattering experiments, as using the twistedness as an experimental degree of freedom may allow for a measurement of the OAM of the partons. In an effort to determine the feasibility of such studies, it must be shown that twisted electrons can be accelerated to very high energies and maintain unique properties that differentiate them from non-twisted electrons. To this end, a more detailed picture of the Mott Scattering cross section of twisted electrons is sought, as the Mott Scattering process could serve as a diagnostic tool in an experimental setup to verify that a beam of electrons is carrying OAM. Using theoretical calculations as a basis, a Monte Carlo simulation of the relativistic twisted electron Mott Scattering cross section has been developed, which averages over all possible initial and final states to provide a more complete and realistic scattering cross section.

Publication Date


First Advisor

Dutta, Dipangkar

Second Advisor

Oppenheimer, Seth F.

Third Advisor

Arnoldus, Henk