Validity of the relativistic impulse approximation for elastic proton-nucleus scattering at energies lower than 200 MeV
We present the first study to examine the validity of the relativistic impulse approximation (RIA) for describing elastic proton-nucleus scattering at incident laboratory kinetic energies lower than 200MeV. For simplicity we choose a Pb208 target, which is a spin-saturated spherical nucleus for which reliable nuclear structure models exist. Microscopic scalar and vector optical potentials are generated by folding invariant scalar and vector scattering nucleon-nucleon (NN) amplitudes, based on our recently developed relativistic meson-exchange model, with Lorentz scalar and vector densities resulting from the accurately calibrated PK1 relativistic mean field model of nuclear structure. It is seen that phenomenological Pauli blocking (PB) effects and density-dependent corrections to σN and ωN meson-nucleon coupling constants modify the RIA microscopic scalar and vector optical potentials so as to provide a consistent and quantitative description of all elastic scattering observables, namely, total reaction cross sections, differential cross sections, analyzing powers and spin rotation functions. In particular, the effect of PB becomes more significant at energies lower than 200MeV, whereas phenomenological density-dependent corrections to the NN interaction also play an increasingly important role at energies lower than 100 MeV. © 2008 The American Physical Society.