QCD and strongly coupled gauge theories - challenges and perspectives


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on open problems, theoretically and experimentally, in quantum chromodynamics (QCD), particularly those related to non-perturbative effects and hence notably to confinement.




The nature of QCD

The success of the technique does not remove the challenge of understanding the non-perturbative aspects of the theory. The two aspects are deeply intertwined. The Lagrangian of QCD is written in terms of quark and gluon degrees of freedom which become apparent at large energy but remain hidden inside hadrons in the low-energy regime. This confinement property is related to the increase of α s\alpha_s at low energy, but it has never been demonstrated analytically.

We have clear indications of the confinement of quarks into hadrons from both experiments and lattice QCD. Computations of the heavy quark–antiquark potential, for example, display a linear behavior in the quark–antiquark distance, which cannot be obtained in pure perturbation theory. Indeed the two main characteristics of QCD: confinement and the appearance of nearly massless pseudoscalar mesons, emergent from the spontaneous breaking of chiral symmetry, are non-perturbative phenomena whose precise understanding continues to be a target of research.

Even in the simpler case of gluodynamics in the absence of quarks, we do not have a precise understanding of how a gap in the spectrum is formed and the glueball spectrum is generated.

Light quarks


Hadron structure

Hadron spectroscopy

Chiral dynamics

Low-energy porecision observables

Future directions

Heavy quarks

Searching for new physics with precision measurement


Nuclear physics and dense QCD in colliders and compact stars

Vacuum structure and infrared QCD

Strongly coupled theories and conformal symmetry

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Last revised on October 20, 2020 at 07:12:40. See the history of this page for a list of all contributions to it.