Extending Precision Perturbative QCD with Track Functions

Yibei Li, Ian Moult, Solange Schrijnder van Velzen, Wouter J. Waalewijn, Hua Xing Zhu
2022 Physical Review Letters  
Collider experiments often exploit information about the quantum numbers of final state hadrons to maximize their sensitivity, with applications ranging from the use of tracking information (electric charge) for precision jet substructure measurements, to flavor tagging for nucleon structure studies. For such measurements, perturbative calculations in terms of quarks and gluons are insufficient, and nonperturbative track functions describing the energy fraction of a quark or gluon converted
more » ... a subset of hadrons (e.g., charged hadrons) must be incorporated. Unlike fragmentation functions, track functions describe correlations between hadrons and therefore satisfy complicated nonlinear evolution equations whose structure has so far eluded calculation beyond the leading order. In this Letter, we develop an understanding of track functions and their interplay with energy flow observables beyond the leading order, allowing them to be used in state-of-the-art perturbative calculations for the first time. We identify a shift symmetry in the evolution of their moments that fixes their structure, and we explicitly compute the evolution of the first three moments at next-to-leading order, allowing for the description of up to three-point energy correlations. We then calculate the two-point energy correlator on charged particles at O(α_{s}^{2}), illustrating explicitly that infrared singularities in perturbation theory are absorbed by moments of the track functions and also highlighting how these moments seamlessly interplay with modern techniques for perturbative calculations. Our results extend the boundaries of traditional perturbative QCD, enabling precision perturbative predictions for energy flow observables sensitive to the quantum numbers of hadronic states.
doi:10.1103/physrevlett.128.182001 pmid:35594111 fatcat:7k5hzvc6lfaydkx5afrkqxywoi