A Century of Nucleon Structure: From Point Particles to Intricate Complexity
Abstract: Since the discovery of the proton in 1917, physicists have been studying its properties: Asking questions about the internal structure and external phenomena of this basic piece of matter. This past century has been working to build an understanding that begins at the most fundamental quark level, builds up to protons and neutrons, and describes how they come together to form the atomic nuclei that make up everything we see around us. In just the past few decades, our understanding of this internal structure of nucleons has been greatly increased thanks to developments of high-energy electron accelerators and spin-polarized targets. From the quark sea through the internal electric structure of nucleons and beyond, this colloquium will cover the history of these discoveries and detail current and future developments that will teach us more about the nature of normal matter.