The unique electron accelerator at JLab makes it possible to investigate the structure of the proton with unprecedented precision. The proton form factors, quantities that reflect the charge and magnetization distributions in the proton, were measured using so called "polarization method" and the result was found to be in striking disagreement with the previous "classical" cross-section measurements. I will discuss the consequences of the JLab results for our understanding of the proton structure and possible explanations of the discrepancy.
In the second part of my talk I will describe the experimental equipment needed for further investigation of the proton form factors. The 12 GeV JLab upgrade and the use of a new, Gas Electron Multiplier (GEM), tracking technology makes it possible to double the range of the existing measurements. The GEM detectors have important applications also outside of the physics experiments, like X-ray and UV imaging, that I will cover, as well.
The talk is designed for non-specialists, but will also address some current topics.