The role of the short-range part (repulsive core) of the proton-neutron (pn) potential in deuteron elastic breakup processes is investigated. A simplified one-range Gaussian potential and the Argonne V4′ (AV4′) central potential are adopted in the continuum-discretized coupled-channels (CDCC) method. The deuteron breakup cross sections calculated with these two potentials are compared. The repulsive core is found not to affect the deuteron breakup cross sections at energies from 40 MeV to 1 GeV. To understand this result, an analysis of the peripherality of the elastic breakup processes concerning the pn relative coordinate is performed. It is found that for the breakup processes populating the pn continua with orbital angular momentum ℓ different from 0, the reaction process is peripheral, whereas it is not for the breakup to the ℓ=0 continua (the s-wave breakup). The result of the peripherality analysis indicates that the whole spatial region of deuteron contributes to the s-wave breakup.
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