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Virtual Photon Scattering at High Energies as a Probe of the Short Distance Pomeron


Perturbative QCD predicts the behavior of scattering at high energies and fixed (sufficiently large) transferred momenta in terms of the BFKL pomeron (or short distance pomeron). We study the prospects for testing these predictions in two-photon processes at LEP200 and a possible future $e^\pm e^-$ collider. We argue that the total cross section for scattering two photons sufficiently far off shell provides a clean probe of BFKL dynamics. The photons act as color dipoles with small transverse size, so that the QCD interactions can be treated perturbatively. We analyze the properties of the QCD result and the possibility of testing them experimentally. We give an estimate of the rates expected and discuss the uncertainties of these results associated with the accuracy of the present theoretical calculations.

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