Abstract:
We discus recent developments in theory of high energy two-body break-up reactions of few-nucleon systems. The characteristics of these reactions are such that the hard two-body quasielastic subprocess can be clearly separated from the accompanying soft subprocesses. We discuss in details the hard rescattering model (HRM) in which hard photodisintegration develops in two stages. At first, photon knocks-out an energetic quark which rescatters subsequently with a quark of the other nucleon. The latter provides a mechanism of sharing the initial high momentum of the photon by the outgoing two nucleons. Within HRM we discuss hard break-up reactions involving $^2D$ and $^3He$ targets. Another development of HRM is the prediction of new helicity selection mechanism for hard two-body reactions, which was apparently confirmed in the recent JLab experiment.

Abstract:
We discus recent developments in theory of high energy two-body break-up of few-nucleon systems. The characteristics of these reactions are such that the hard two-body quasielastic subprocess can be clearly separated from the accompanying soft subprocesses. We discuss in details the hard rescattering model(HRM) in which hard photodisintegration develops in two stages. At first, photon knocks-out an energetic quark which rescatters subsequently with a quark of the other nucleon. The latter provides a mechanism of sharing the initial high momentum of the photon between two outgoing nucleons. This final state hard rescattering can be expressed through the hard NN scattering amplitude. Within HRM we discuss hard break-up reactions involving D and 3He targets and demonstrate how these reactions are sensitive to the dynamics of hard pn and pp interaction. Another development of HRM is the prediction of new helicity selection mechanism for hard two-body reactions, which was apparently confirmed in the recent JLab experiment.

Abstract:
Polarization properties of high energy photodisintegration of the deuteron are studied within the framework of the hard rescattering mechanism~(HRM). In HRM, a quark of one nucleon knocked-out by the incoming photon rescatters with a quark of the other nucleon leading to the production of two nucleons with high relative momentum. Summation of all relevant quark rescattering amplitudes allows us to express the scattering amplitude of the reaction through the convolution of a hard photon-quark interaction vertex, the large angle p-n scattering amplitude and the low momentum deuteron wave function. Within HRM, it is demonstrated that the polarization observables in hard photodisintegration of the deuteron can be expressed through the five helicity amplitudes of NN scattering at high momentum transfer. At 90$^\circ$ CM scattering HRM predicts the dominance of the isovector channel of hard $pn$ rescattering, and it explains the observed smallness of induced, $P_y$ and transfered, $C_x$ polarizations without invoking the argument of helicity conservation. Namely, HRM predicts that $P_y$ and $C_x$ are proportional to the $\phi_5$ helicity amplitude which vanishes at $\theta_{cm}=90^\circ$ due to symmetry reasons. HRM predicts also a nonzero value for $C_z$ in the helicity-conserving regime and a positive $\Sigma$ asymmetry which is related to the dominance of the isovector channel in the hard reinteraction. We extend our calculations to the region where large polarization effects are observed in $pp$ scattering as well as give predictions for angular dependences.

Abstract:
We discuss the high energy photodisintegrataion of light nuclei in which the energy of the absorbed photon is equally shared between two nucleons in the target. For these reactions we investigate the model in which photon absorption by a quark in one nucleon followed by its high momentum transfer interaction with a quark of the other nucleon leads to the production of two nucleons with high relative momentum. We sum the relevant quark rescattering diagrams, and demonstrate that the scattering amplitude can be expressed as a convolution of the large angle NN scattering amplitude, the hard photon-quark interaction vertex and the low-momentum nuclear wave function. Within this model we calculate the cross sections and polarization observables of high energy gamma + d --> pn and gamma + ^3He --> pp + n reactions.

Abstract:
The two-body break up of the deuteron is studied at high $Q^2$ kinematics, with main motivation to probe the deuteron at small internucleon distances. Such studies are associated with the probing of high momentum component of the deuteron wave function. For this, two main theoretical issues have been addressed such as electromagnetic interaction of the virtual photon with the bound nucleon and the strong interaction of produced baryons in the final state of the break-up reaction. Within virtual nucleon approximation we developed a new prescription to account for the bound nucleon effects in electromagnetic interaction. The final state interaction at high $Q^2$ kinematics is calculated within generalized eikonal approximation (GEA). We studied the uncertainties involved in the calculation and performed comparisons with the first experimental data on deuteron electrodisintegration at large $Q^2$. We demonstrate that the experimental data confirm GEA's early prediction that the rescattering is maximal at $\sim 70^0$ of recoil nucleon production relative to the momentum of the virtual photon. Comparisons also show that the forward recoil nucleon angles are best suited for studies of the electromagnetic interaction of bound nucleons and the high momentum structure of the deuteron. Backward recoil angle kinematics show sizable effects due to the $\Delta$-isobar contribution. The latter indicates the importance of further development of GEA to account for the inelastic transitions in the intermediate state of the electrodisintegration reactions.

Abstract:
We review the present status of the theory of high energy reactions with semi-exclusive nucleon electro-production from nuclear targets. We demonstrate how the increase of transferred energies in these reactions opens a complete new window in studying the microscopic nuclear structure at small distances. The simplifications in theoretical descriptions associated with the increase of the energies are discussed. The theoretical framework for calculation of high energy nuclear reactions based on the effective Feynman diagram rules is described in details. The result of this approach is the generalized eikonal approximation (GEA), which is reduced to Glauber approximation when nucleon recoil is neglected. The method of GEA is demonstrated in the calculation of high energy electro-disintegration of the deuteron and A=3 targets. Subsequently we generalize the obtained formulae for A>3 nuclei. The relation of GEA to the Glauber theory is analyzed. Then based on the GEA framework we discuss some of the phenomena which can be studied in exclusive reactions, these are: nuclear transparency and short-range correlations in nuclei. We illustrate how light-cone dynamics of high-energy scattering emerge naturally in high energy electro-nuclear reactions.

Abstract:
We discuss the possible implication of the recent predictions of two new properties of high momentum distribution of nucleons in asymmetric nuclei for neutron star dynamics. The first property is about the approximate scaling relation between proton and neutron high momentum distributions weighted by their relative fractions ($x_p$ and $x_n$) in the nucleus. The second is the existence of inverse proportionality of the high momentum distribution strength of protons and neutrons to $x_{p/n}$. Based on these predictions we model the high momentum distribution functions for asymmetric nuclei and demonstrate that it describes reasonably well the high momentum characteristics of light nuclei. We also extrapolate our results to heavy nuclei as well as infinite nuclear matter and calculate the relative fractions of protons and neutrons with momenta above $k_{F}$. Our results indicate that for neutron stars starting at {\em three} nuclear saturation densities the protons with $x_p = {1\over 9}$ will populate mostly the high momentum tail of the momentum distribution while only $2\%$ of the neutrons will do so. Such a situation may have many implications for different observations of neutron stars which we discuss.

Abstract:
Despite the progress made in understanding the NN interactions at long distances based on effective field theories, the understanding of the dynamics of short range NN interactions remains as elusive as ever. One of the most fascinating properties of short range interaction is its repulsive nature which is responsible for the stability of strongly interacting matter. The relevant distances, $\le 0.5$ fm, in this case are such that one expects the onset of quark-gluon degrees of freedom with interaction being dominated by QCD dynamics. We review the current status of the understanding of the QCD dynamics of NN interactions at short distances, highlight outstanding questions and outline the theoretical foundation of QCD description of hard NN processes. We present examples of how the study of the hard elastic NN interaction can reveal the symmetry structure of valence quark component of the nucleon wave function and how the onset of pQCD regime is correlated with the onset of color transparency phenomena in hard $pp$ scattering in the nuclear medium. The discussions show how the new experimental facilities can help to advance the knowledge about the QCD nature of nuclear forces at short distances.

Abstract:
The break up of the deuteron is studied at high $Q^2$ kinematics, with main motivation to probe the deuteron at small internucleon distances. For this, two main issues are studied: electromagnetic interaction of the virtual photon with the bound nucleon and the strong interactions of the produced baryons in the final state of the reaction. Within virtual nucleon approximation we developed a new prescription to account for the bound nucleon effects in the electromagnetic interaction. The final state interaction at high $Q^2$ kinematics is calculated within generalized eikonal approximation ~ (GEA). Comparison with the first experimental data confirm GEA's early prediction that the rescattering is maximal at $\sim 70^0$ of recoil nucleon production relative to the momentum of the virtual photon. Also the forward recoil nucleon angles are best suited for studies of the deuteron at small distances.

Abstract:
We overview the progress made in studies of EMC and short range correlation (SRC) effects with the special emphasis given to the recent observation of the correlation between the slope of the EMC ratio at Bjorken x<1 and the scale factor of the same ratio at x>1 that measures the strength of the SRCs in nuclei. This correlation may indicate the larger modification of nucleons with higher momentum thus making the nucleon virtuality as the most relevant parameter of medium modifications. To check this conjecture we study the implication of several properties of high momentum component of the nuclear wave function on the characteristics of EMC effect. We observe two main reasons for the EMC-SRC correlation: first, the decrease of the contribution from the nuclear mean field due to the increase, with A, the fraction of the high momentum component of nuclear wave function. Second, the increase of the medium modification of nucleons in SRC. Our main prediction however is the increase of the proton contribution to the EMC effect for large A asymmetric nuclei. This prediction is based on the recent observation of the strong dominance of pn SRCs in the high momentum component of nuclear wave function. Our preliminary calculation based on this prediction of the excess of energetic and modified protons in large A nuclei describes reasonably well the main features of the observed EMC-SRC correlation.