Abstract:
We study deeply virtual Compton scattering and deep exclusive meson electroproduction on a deuteron target. We model the Generalized Quark Distributions in the deuteron by using the impulse approximation for the lowest Fock-space state on the light-cone. We study the properties of the resulting GPDs, and verify that sum rules violations are quite small in the impulse approximation. Numerical predictions are given for the unpolarized cross sections and polarization asymmetries for the kinematical regimes relevant for JLab experiments and for HERMES at HERA. We conclude that the signal of coherent scattering on the deuteron is comparable to the one on the proton at least for low momentum transfer, providing support to the feasibility of the experiments. The short distance structure of the deuteron may thus be scrutinized in the near future.

Abstract:
We investigate the reaction $e p \to e PS X$ where PS denotes a pseudoscalar meson $\pi^0, \eta, \eta'$, or $\eta_c$ and X either a proton or resonance or continuum states into which the proton can go by diffractive excitation. At high energies photon and odderon exchange contribute to the reaction. The photon exchange contribution is evaluated exactly using data for the total virtual photon-proton absorption cross section. The odderon exchange contribution is calculated in nonperturbative QCD, using functional integral techniques and the model of the stochastic vacuum. For the proton we assume a quark-diquark structure as suggested by the small odderon amplitude in $pp$ and $p \bar{p}$ forward scattering. We show that odderon exchange leads to a much larger inelastic than elastic PS production cross section. Observation of our reaction at HERA would establish the soft odderon as an exchange object on an equal footing with the soft pomeron and would give us valuable insight into both the nucleon structure and the mechanism of high energy diffractive scattering.

Abstract:
We propose a new method for measuring longitudinal amplitudes for electroproduction of pseudoscalar mesons that exploits a symmetry relation for polarization observables in parallel kinematics. This polarization technique does not require variation of electron scattering kinematics and avoids the major sources of systematic errors in Rosenbluth separation.

Abstract:
The hard exclusive electroproduction of $\pi^0,\eta,\eta'$ mesons by the longitudinal photons is considered. We calculate the ratios of the $\pi^0 : \eta : \eta'$ yields for the electroproduction processes off nucleons and deuterons based on the QCD factorization theorem, the low energy QCD chiral dynamics, and the QCD anomaly. Thus investigation of these ratios gives a new way to probe the physics of the spontaneous chiral symmetry breaking.

Abstract:
The amplitude for hard exclusive pseudoscalar meson electroproduction off nucleon (nuclear) targets is computed in QCD within the leading $\alpha_s \ln {Q^2/\lambda_{QCD}^{2}}$ approximation. We show that the distribution of recoil nucleons depends strongly on the angle between the momentum of the recoil nucleon and the polarization vector of the target (or outgoing nucleon). This dependence is especially sensitive to the spin flip skewed parton distribution (SPD) $\widetilde E$. We argue also that the scaling for this spin asymmetry sets in at lower Q^2 than that for the absolute cross section. Basing on the chiral quark-soliton model of the nucleon we estimate quantitatively the spin asymmetry. In the case of pi+ production this asymmetry is dominated at small t by the contribution of the pion pole in the isovector SPD $\widetilde E$ as required by PCAC. In the case of K0 production off a proton we find a large enhancement of the cross section as compared to the case of pi0 production. For the forward production of neutral pseudoscalar mesons off a deuteron target we find the cross section should be zero for the zero deuteron helicity (along the $\gamma^*D$ direction). We consider also cross sections of quasielastic processes off nuclei including the feasibility to implant K+,rho-mesons into nuclear volume.

Abstract:
One principal motivation for studying exclusive reactions is that they provide a new class of observables, called off-diagonal parton distributions, for the internal structure of the nucleon. The study of exclusive reactions provides a probe of nucleon structure complementary to purely inclusive studies. The simplest, and possibly the most promising, type of experiment is exclusive electroproduction of pseudoscalar mesons at small t, and at large Q2 and W. We show that using the CLAS spectrometer at JLAB and with beam energies between 4 and 6 GeV, we can obtain good quality electroproduction data that will improve our understanding of nucleon structure.

Abstract:
The energy dependence of the cross section for exclusive electroproduction of vector mesons is discussed as a way to learn about the interplay of soft and hard interactions. The question of determining the scale of these processes is addressed.

Abstract:
The electroproduction of K$^{*0}$ mesons using the CLAS detector is described. Data for two electron beam energies, 4.056 and 4.247 GeV, were measured and the normalized yields are compared.

Abstract:
The behavior of pseudoscalar mesons in nuclear medium is reviewed with an emphasis on the possibility of their Bose-Einstein condensation in dense matter. In particular pion condensation is reexamined in detail, stimulated by recent theoretical and observational developments.

Abstract:
We present results for the first two moments of the distribution amplitudes of pseudoscalar mesons. Using two flavors of non-perturbatively improved clover fermions and non-perturbative renormalization of the matrix elements we perform both chiral and continuum extrapolations and compare with recent results from models and experiments.