Impact of the heavy-quark matching scales in PDF fits

V. Bertone, D. Britzger, S. Camarda, A. Cooper-Sarkar, A. Geiser, F. Giuli, A. Glazov, E. Godat, A. Kusina, A. Luszczak, F. Lyonnet, F. Olness*, R. Plačakytė, V. Radescu, I. Schienbein, O. Zenaiev, The xFitter Developers’ Team

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


We investigate the impact of displaced heavy-quark matching scales in a global fit. The heavy-quark matching scale μm determines at which energy scale μ the QCD theory transitions from NF to NF+ 1 in the variable flavor number scheme (VFNS) for the evolution of the parton distribution functions (PDFs) and strong coupling αS(μ). We study the variation of the matching scales, and their impact on a global PDF fit of the combined HERA data. As the choice of the matching scale μm effectively is a choice of scheme, this represents a theoretical uncertainty; ideally, we would like to see minimal dependence on this parameter. For the transition across the charm quark (from NF= 3 to 4), we find a large μm= μc dependence of the global fit χ2 at NLO, but this is significantly reduced at NNLO. For the transition across the bottom quark (from NF= 4 to 5), we have a reduced μm= μb dependence of the χ2 at both NLO and NNLO as compared to the charm. This feature is now implemented in xFitter 2.0.0, an open source QCD fit framework.

Original languageEnglish
Article number837
JournalEuropean Physical Journal C
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017


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