We present a general all-order formulation of Sudakov resummation in QCD in terms of dispersion integrals. We show that the Sudakov exponent can be written as a dispersion integral over spectral density functions, weighted by characteristic functions that encode information on power corrections. The characteristic functions are defined and computed analytically in the large-beta_0 limit. The spectral density functions encapsulate the non-Abelian nature of the interaction. They are defined by the time-like discontinuity of specific effective charges (couplings) that are directly related to the familiar Sudakov anomalous dimensions and can be computed order-by-order in perturbation theory. The dispersive approach provides a realization of Dressed Gluon Exponentiation, where Sudakov resummation is enhanced by an internal resummation of running-coupling corrections. We establish all-order relations between the scheme-invariant Borel formulation and the dispersive one, and address the difference in the treatment of power corrections. We find that in the context of Sudakov resummation the infrared-finite-coupling hypothesis is of special interest because the relevant coupling can be uniquely identified to any order, and may have an infrared fixed point already at the perturbative level. We prove that this infrared limit is universal: it is determined by the cusp anomalous dimension. To illustrate the formalism we discuss a few examples including B-meson decay spectra, deep inelastic structure functions and Drell-Yan or Higgs production.
- Sudakov logarithms
- Power corrections