Exclusive diffractive processes on the nucleon are investigated within a model in which the quark-nucleon interaction is mediated by Pomeron exchange and the quark substructure of mesons is described within a framework based on the Dyson-Schwinger equations of QCD. The model quark-nucleon interaction has four parameters which are completely determined by high-energy and elastic scattering data. The model is then used to predict vector-meson electroproduction observables. The obtained - and -meson electroproduction cross sections are in excellent agreement with experimental data. The predicted dependence of -meson electroproduction also agrees with experimental data. It is shown that confined-quark dynamics plays a central role in determining the behavior of the diffractive, vector-meson electroproduction cross section. In particular, the onset of the asymptotic behavior of the cross section is determined by a momentum scale that is set by the current-quark masses of the quark and antiquark inside the vector meson. This is the origin of the striking differences between the dependence of -, -, and -meson electroproduction cross sections observed in recent experiments.
- Received 18 December 1996
- Published in the issue dated 1 August 1997
© 1997 The American Physical Society