Honors Theses and Capstones

Date of Award

Spring 2024

Project Type

Senior Honors Thesis

College or School



Department of Physics and Astronomy

Program or Major


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

First Advisor

Nathaly Santiesteban


Protons and neutrons, the nucleons, are made up of smaller particles called quarks. Nucleons have three valence quarks, which are the dominant contributors to its properties, as well as sea quarks (quark-antiquark pairs) and gluons. The distribution of the charge and magnetization of these particles is described by the electric and magnetic form factors. These form factors can be measured with scattering experiments since they directly affect the particle’s cross section. Neutron form factors are challenging to measure because a pure neutron target will decay very fast and is not viable for experiments. Instead, targets like 2H and 3H are used. However, the proton in these targets introduces large uncertainties. New data for the neutron magnetic form factor has been found using a method that uses mirror nuclei 3H and 3He and relies on canceling uncertainties in the ratio of cross sections of both nuclei. With this new data, we create a new global fit of the neutron magnetic form factor that incorporates both new and old data. This new global fit can support new calculations and theories about neutrons.

Included in

Nuclear Commons