The study of the structure of hadronic matter is at the heart of the NINPHA project.The focus is on how hadron phenomenology emerges from the interactions generated by the symmetries of QCD, and from the breaking of these symmetries. Building accurate maps of the internal dynamics of partons and of their mutual interactions will shed light on the composition of hadronic masses and spins in terms of elementary constituents, and will eventually lead to a microscopic understanding of confinement. Shaping these maps in momentum and coordinate space requires advanced non-perturbative techniques, for instance for the extraction of Transverse Momentum Dependent distributions (TMDs), Generalized Parton Distributions (GPDs) and related form factors.
In recent years, NINPHA members have been at the forefront of phenomenological explorations of (polarized) quark TMDs and GPDs in nucleons and nuclei. In the next years, they will be engaged in precision studies, such as matching TMD-based calculations to highly accurate perturbative calculations at large energies, or extracting TMDs and GPDs from robust global fits including data sets provided by running fixed-target experiments (COMPASS, JLab12) and colliders (RHIC, LHC). NINPHA will also explore new channels to address the basically unknown gluon TMDs (through single and associated quarkonium production) and the orbital angular momentum of partons, as well as the dynamics at small parton momenta. These are hot topics of the physics programme of the future Electron-Ion Collider (EIC), planned to be built at BNL in the U.S.
Fundamental hadronic spin-momentum correlations will be studied within a framework based on both the Bethe-Salpeter and gap equations, with the aim of obtaining genuinely dynamical predictions directly in the Minkowski space. This effort will also be useful for elaborating extraction strategies for obtaining in-medium hadronic properties from light nuclei, described within the light-front Hamiltonian Dynamics, in coadiuvation to the planned experimental activity at JLab 12 and at the future EIC.
NINPHA activities are also dedicated to the study of the excited hadron spectrum and decays, especially to exotic hadrons. The recent observation by LHCb of a meson made of four charm quarks (Tcccc) and of pentaquark states (Pc+) has consecrated the subject of exotics as a hot topic. Dispersion theory and effective field theories applied to data analyses can improve the understanding and interpretation of the experimental measurements and offer new insight on the nature of exotic hadrons, while the calculation of nuclear matrix elements are of interest for the NUMEN experiment (LNS).
NINPHA scientists are recognized world leaders in their field and have a longstanding tradition of fruitful cooperation with a large number of experimental communities, like JLab and RHIC in the U.S., LHC and SPS at CERN, Belle in Japan and BESIII in China. Moreover, they are playing a pivotal role in providing theoretical support to future facilities which are presently being planned, like the EIC and the LHCspin project.