Date of Award

Summer 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



Committee Director

Stephen Bueltmann

Committee Member

Sebastian Kuhn

Committee Member

Gabriel Charles


For decades, electron-proton scattering experiments have been providing a large amount of data on the proton structure function. However, because of the instability of free neutrons, fewer experiments have been able to study the neutron structure function. The BONuS collaboration at Jefferson Laboratory addresses this challenge by scattering electrons off a deuterium target, using a RTPC capable of detecting the low-momentum spectator protons near the target. Events of electrons scattering on almost free neutrons are selected by constraining the spectator protons to very low momenta and very backward scattering angles. In 2005, BONuS successfully measured the neutron structure with scattering electrons of up to 5.3 GeV energy. An extension of this measurement has been approved using the newly upgraded 12 GeV electron beam and CLAS12 (CEBAF Large Acceptance Spectrometer). For this new set of measurements, a new RTPC detector using GEM trackers is being developed to allow measurements of spectator protons with momenta as low as 70 MeV/c.

The new RTPC will use a new readout electronic system, which is also used by other trackers in CLAS12. This thesis will present the first tests of this electronics using a previously built RTPC of similar design.


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