A high statistics measurement of the pp->pp eta reaction at an excess energy of Q = 15.5 MeV has been performed at the internal beam facility COSY-11. The stochastically cooled proton beam and the used detection system allowed to determine the momenta of the outgoing protons with a precision of 4 MeV/c (sigma) in the center-of-mass frame. The determination of the four-momentum vectors of both outgoing protons allowed to derive the complete kinematical information of the eta pp-system. An unexpectedly large enhancement of the occupation density in the kinematical regions of low proton-eta relative momenta is observed. A description taking the proton-proton and the eta-proton interaction into account and assuming an on-shell incoherent pairwise interaction among the produced particles fails to explain this strong effect. Its understanding will require a rigorous three-body approach to the pp eta system and the precise determination of contributions from higher partial waves. We also present an invariant mass spectrum of the proton-proton system determined at Q = 4.5 MeV. Interestingly, the enhancement at large relative momenta between protons is visible also at such a small excess energy.
In contrast to all other determined angular distributions, the orientation of the emission plane with respect to the beam direction is extracted to be anisotropic.
Phys. Rev. C 69 (2004) 025203 (Tables)