Quark imaging in the proton via quantum phase-space distributions

A. V. Belitsky, Xiangdong Ji, Feng Yuan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

268 Scopus citations


We develop the concept of quantum phase-space (Wigner) distributions for quarks and gluons in the proton. To appreciate their physical content, we analyze the contraints from special relativity on the interpretation of elastic form factors, and examine the physics of the Feynman parton distributions in the proton’s rest frame. We relate the quark Wigner functions to the transverse-momentum dependent parton distributions and generalized parton distributions, emphasizing the physical role of the skewness parameter. We show that the Wigner functions allow us to visualize quantum quarks and gluons using the language of classical phase space. We present two examples of the quark Wigner distributions and point out some model-independent features.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12
Number of pages1
JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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