nLab ghost field



Fields and quanta

fields and particles in particle physics

and in the standard model of particle physics:

force field gauge bosons

scalar bosons

matter field fermions (spinors, Dirac fields)

flavors of fundamental fermions in the
standard model of particle physics:
generation of fermions1st generation2nd generation3d generation
quarks (qq)
up-typeup quark (uu)charm quark (cc)top quark (tt)
down-typedown quark (dd)strange quark (ss)bottom quark (bb)
neutralelectron neutrinomuon neutrinotau neutrino
bound states:
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:
B-meson (qbq b)
ϒ-meson (bb¯b \bar b)
proton (uud)(u u d)
neutron (udd)(u d d)

(also: antiparticles)

effective particles

hadrons (bound states of the above quarks)


in grand unified theory

minimally extended supersymmetric standard model




dark matter candidates


auxiliary fields



In gauge theory the configuration space/phase space is not in general a smooth space, but a smooth groupoid: the gauge transformations between gauge fields are the morphisms of this groupoid.

The infinitesimal approximation to this smooth groupoid is a Lie algebroid. The dg-algebra of functions on this is called the BRST complex of the gauge theory. It contains in degree-0 the (duals to) the gauge fields and in degree-1 the cotangents to the gauge transformations. These degree-1 elements that appear here alongside the physical fields in degree 0 are called ghost fields in the physics literature.

If there are higher gauge transformationsgauge-of-gauge transformations” then the BRST complex has generators in higher degree, too, the cotangents to these higher gauge transformations. These are then called ghost-of-ghost fields.

For more details and further pointers see at BRST complex and in particular at BV-BRST formalism.

Last revised on December 9, 2017 at 10:05:57. See the history of this page for a list of all contributions to it.