Contrary to the hadron case, there is no necessity to introduce the parton-distribution function concept for leptons. A lepton can be considered as a point-like particle, with initial-state radiation handled by higher-order matrix elements. However, the parton distribution function approach offers a slightly simplified but very economical description of initial-state radiation effects for any hard process, also those for which higher-order corrections are not yet calculated.
Parton distributions for electrons have been introduced in PYTHIA, and are used also for muons and taus, with a trivial substitution of masses. Alternatively, one is free to use a simple `unresolved' , , where the retains the full original momentum.
Electron parton distributions are calculable entirely from first
principles, but different levels of approximation may be used.
The parton-distribution formulae in PYTHIA are based on a
next-to-leading-order exponentiated description, see ref.
[Kle89], p. 34. The approximate behaviour is
A separate issue is that electron beams may not be monochromatic, more so than for other particles because of the small electron mass. In storage rings the main mechanism is synchrotron radiation. For future high-luminosity linear colliders, the beam-beam interactions at the collision vertex may induce a quite significant energy loss -- `beamstrahlung'. Note that neither of these are associated with any off-shellness of the electrons, i.e. the resulting spectrum only depends on and not . Examples of beamstrahlung spectra are provided by the CIRCE program [Ohl97], with a sample interface on the PYTHIA webpages.
, which are responsible for the
softening of the
parton distribution, also gives rise to
a flow of photons. In photon-induced hard processes, the
parton distribution can be used to describe the
equivalent flow of photons. In the next section, a complete
differential photon flux machinery is introduced. Here some simpler
first-order expressions are introduced, for the flux integrated up
to a hard interaction scale . There is some ambiguity in
the choice of range over which emissions should be included.
The naïve (default) choice is
Also other sources of photons should be mentioned. One is the beamstrahlung photons mentioned above, where again CIRCE provides sample parameterizations. Another, particularly interesting one, is laser backscattering, wherein an intense laser pulse is shot at an incoming high-energy electron bunch. By Compton backscattering this gives rise to a photon energy spectrum with a peak at a significant fraction of the original electron energy [Gin82]. Both of these sources produce real photons, which can be considered as photon beams of variable energy (see section ), decoupled from the production process proper.
In resolved photoproduction or resolved
interactions, one has to include the parton distributions for quarks
and gluons inside the photon inside the electron. This is best done
with the machinery of the next section. However, as an older and
can be obtained by a numerical
convolution according to
One can obtain the positron distribution inside an electron,
which is also the electron sea parton distribution, by a convolution
of the two branchings
the result is [Che75]
Finally, the program also contains the distribution of a
transverse inside an electron