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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Spin decomposition of the electron in QED

  • Author(s): Ji, X;
  • Schäfer, A;
  • Yuan, F;
  • Zhang, JH;
  • Zhao, Y
  • et al.

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We perform a systematic study on the spin decomposition of an electron in QED at one-loop order. It is found that the electron orbital angular momentum defined in Jaffe-Manohar and Ji spin sum rules agree with each other, and the so-called potential angular momentum vanishes at this order. The calculations are performed in both dimensional regularization and Pauli-Villars regularization for the ultraviolet divergences, and they lead to consistent results. We further investigate the calculations in terms of light-front wave functions and find a missing contribution from the instantaneous interaction in light-front quantization. This clarifies the confusing issues raised recently in the literature on the spin decomposition of an electron and will help consolidate the spin physics program for nucleons in QCD.

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