Dispersion theory of nucleon Compton scattering and polarizabilities
A status report on the topic Compton scattering and polarizabilities is presented with emphasis on the scalar t-channel as entering into dispersion theory. Precise values for the polarizabilities are obtained leading to $α_p = 12.0± 0.6$ $(12.0)$, $β_p=1.9\mp 0.6$ $(1.9)$, $α_n= 12.5± 1.7$ $(13.4)$, $β_n= 2.7 \mp 1.8$ $(1.8)$ in units of $10^-4$ fm$^3$ and $γ^(p)_π = -36.4 ± 1.5$ $(-36.6)$, $γ^(n)_π = 58.6 ± 4.0$ $(58.3)$, $(γ^(p)_0= -0.58± 0.20)$, $(γ^(n)_0 = +0.38± 0.22)$ in units of $10^-4$ fm$^4$, for the proton (p) and neutron (n), respectively. The data given with an error are recommended experimental values with updates compared to  where necessary, the data in parentheses are predicted values. These predicted values are not contained in , but are the result of a newly developed analysis which is the main topic of the present paper. The most important recent discovery is that the largest part of the electric polarizability and the total diamagnetic polarizability of the nucleon are properties of the $σ$ meson as part of the constituent-quark structure, as expected from the mechanism of chiral symmetry breaking. This view is supported by an experiment on Compton scattering by the proton carried out in the second resonance region, where a large contribution from the $σ$ meson enters into the scattering amplitudes. This experiment led to a determination of the mass of the $σ$ meson of $m_σ = 600 ± 70$ MeV. From the experimental $α_p$ and predicted differences $(α_n - α_p)$ neutron polarizabilities in the range $α_n= 12.0 - 13.4$ are predicted, where the uncertainties are related to the $f_0(980)$ and $a_0(980)$ scalar mesons.