Intensive theoretical and experimental efforts over the past decade have aimed at explaining the discrepancy between data for the proton electric to magnetic form factor ratio, G(E)/G(M), obtained separately from cross section and polarization transfer measurements. One possible explanation for this difference is a two-photon-exchange contribution. In an effort to search for effects beyond the one-photon-exchange or Born approximation, we report measurements of polarization transfer observables in the elastic H(e[over →],e(')p[over →]) reaction for three different beam energies at a Q(2)=2.5 GeV(2), spanning a wide range of the kinematic parameter ε. The ratio R, which equals μ(p)G(E)/G(M) in the Born approximation, is found to be independent of ε at the 1.5% level. The ε dependence of the longitudinal polarization transfer component P(ℓ) shows an enhancement of (2.3±0.6)% relative to the Born approximation at large ε.
© 2011 American Physical Society