Closing in on the Spinning Glue

Michael Miller (MIT)

We report on a large-scale experimental program at Brookhaven's RHIC collider to study the spin dependent interactions between confined quarks and gluons. The crucial new element in this program is the control of the initial state polarization, which allows for precision exploration of the complex phenomena that emerge from a theory based solely on symmetry and local gauge invariance. Using the world's only source of high-energy collisions of polarized protons, the RHIC spin collaboration is closing in on one of it's primary goals -- measurement of the helicity distribution of gluons within a polarized proton. We report on recent measurements from the RHIC spin program and their implication on the gluon helicity distribution.