We derive the Wigner functions of polarized photons in the Coulomb gauge with the ħ expansion applied to quantum field theory, and identify side-jump effects for massless photons. We also discuss the photonic chiral vortical effect for the Chern-Simons current and zilch vortical effect for the zilch current in local thermal equilibrium as a consistency check for our formalism. The results are found to be in agreement with those obtained from different approaches. Moreover, using the real-time formalism, we construct the quantum kinetic theory (QKT) for polarized photons. By further adopting a specific power counting scheme for the distribution functions, we provide a more succinct form of an effective QKT. This photonic QKT involves quantum corrections associated with self-energy gradients in the collision term, which are analogous to the side-jump corrections pertinent to spin-orbit interactions in the chiral kinetic theory for massless fermions. The same theoretical framework can also be directly applied to weakly coupled gluons in the absence of background color fields.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics