nLab Cheshire cat principle



Quantum Field Theory

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up-typeup quark (uu)charm quark (cc)top quark (tt)
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mesonslight mesons:
pion (udu d)
ρ-meson (udu d)
ω-meson (udu d)
ϕ-meson (ss¯s \bar s),
kaon, K*-meson (usu s, dsd s)
eta-meson (uu+dd+ssu u + d d + s s)

charmed heavy mesons:
D-meson (uc u c, dcd c, scs c)
J/ψ-meson (cc¯c \bar c)
bottom heavy mesons:
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In nuclear physics (quantum chromodynamics) the Cheshire cat principle (NNZ 85) is the observation that in the quark bag model for confined quarks inside hadrons the radius of the “bag” is not actually observable. Hence the “bag” of the the bag model disappears, leaving only its confined content behind, whence the colorful term.

From Rho et al. 16:

One can make [[chiral perturbation theory]] consistent with QCD by suitably matching the correlators of the effective theory to those of QCD at a scale near Λ\Lambda. Clearly this procedure is not limited to only one set of vector mesons; in fact, one can readily generalize it to an infinite number of hidden gauge fields in an effective Lagrangian. In so doing, it turns out that a fifth dimension is “deconstructed” in a (4+1)-dimensional (or 5D) Yang–Mills type form. We will see in Part III that such a structure arises, top-down, in string theory.


[[this holographic QCD]] model comes out to describe — unexpectedly well — low-energy properties of both mesons and baryons, in particular those properties reliably described in quenched lattice QCD simulations.


One of the most noticeable results of this holographic model is the first derivation of vector dominance (VD) that holds both for mesons and for baryons. It has been somewhat of an oddity and a puzzle that Sakurai’s vector dominance — with the lowest vector mesons ρ and ω — which held very well for pionic form factors at low momentum transfers famously failed for nucleon form factors. In this holographic model, the VD comes out automatically for both the pion and the nucleon provided that the infinite [[KK-]]tower is included. While the VD for the pion with the infinite tower is not surprising given the successful Sakurai VD, that the VD holds also for the nucleons is highly nontrivial. [...][...] It turns out to be a consequence of a holographic Cheshire Cat phenomenon

From Nielsen-Zahed 09:

The Skyrmion is the ultimate topological bag model with zero size bag radius, lending further credence to the Cheshire cat principle.


Original article:

Further developments:


See also:

Derivation from the AdS/QCD correspondence:

Last revised on December 20, 2020 at 17:28:31. See the history of this page for a list of all contributions to it.