This post presents a brief introduction to the gauge field theory of strong interactions, developed recently by the authors, based only on the gauge invariance, the principle of Lorentz invariance, the principle of representation invariance (PRI) and the principle of interaction dynamics (PID). The field theory leads to strong interaction potential formulas, provides duality between spin-1 gluons and dual spin-0 gluons, and offers a theoretical explanation of the quark confinement and asymptotic freedom.
1. Fundamental Symmetries and Strong Charges
Strong interaction is one of the four fundamental interactions of Nature, the others being the electromagnetic, the weak and the gravitational interactions. The strong interaction is responsible for binding protons and neutrons together to form atoms, and for binding quarks together to form hadrons (baryons and mesons).
The current theory for the strong interactions is the quantum chromodynamics (QCD), described by a non-Abelian gauge theory. The gauge theory consists of
- the eight gauge fields, representing the strong interaction potentials:
- three copies of Dirac spinors, representing different flavors of quarks:
which satisfy the Dirac equations:
where is a basis of the set of traceless Hermitian matrices with being the structure constants.
Elements in can be written as
- the Dirac equations are gauge covariant, and
- the Lagrangian action of the interaction fields is gauge invariant.
In classical quantum chromodynamics (QCD), the gauge invariance of the strong interactions refers to the color charge of the quarks cannot be distinguished, and consequently, the energy contribution of different flavors of quarks is invariant under the phase (gauge) transformation.
As presented in the previous post, we can choose different basis for the set of traceless Hermitian matrices, leading to the principle of representation invariance (PRI), first discovered and postulated by (Ma-Wang, 2012). Namely, consider the following representation transformation of :
Then it is easy to verify that , , and and are -tensors under the representation transformation (3).
- the Yang-Mills action of the gauge fields is invariant, and
- the corresponding gauge field equations are covariant.
By PRI, there is an vector associated with the representation transformation (3) such that the following contraction
defines the (total) strong interaction potential, and is the strong interaction charge potential, and is the strong force. Consequently, PRI implies that plays the role of the strong charge, as the electric charge in the abelian gauge theory for quantum electrodynamics (QED).
The field strengths for the gauge theory for strong interactions are naturally defined by
Geometrically, and are the connection and curvature tensors on the complex spinor bundle . By construction, it is clear that is Lorentz, gauge and representation invariant, and is dictated by these three symmetries.
3. Field Equations and Dual Gluon Fields
With the Lagrangian action at our disposal, the classical Yang-Mills equations used in the classical QCD follow from the least action principle also called the principle of Lagrangian dynamics.
However, as we have demonstrated in the previous posts, for the four fundamental interactions, the principle of Lagrangian dynamics should be replaced the principle of interaction dynamics (PID), which takes the variation of the Lagrangian action under energy-momentum conservation constraint. As indicated in the previous post, by PID and PRI, we derive the following field equations for strong interactions (Ma-Wang, 2012), with proper scaling:
for , where is a parameter, is as in (4), and
Here we have taken the representation basis to be the Gell-Mann matrices.
The right-hand side of the field equations (7) above is due to PID. In other words, PID induces a natural duality between the interaction fields , representing the spin-1 massless gluons, and their corresponding spin-0 dual gluon fields . Namely, corresponding to the eight gluon fields , there are eight dual gluon fields , which we call the scalar gluons due to :
In the weakton model , we realize that these dual gluons possess the same weakton constituents, but different spins, as the gluons.
The above duality can be viewed as a duality of the strong forces. We start with the physical significance of the parameters and . Usually, and are regarded as masses of the field particles. However, when (7)-(9) are viewed as the field equations for the interaction forces, represents the range of attracting force for the strong interaction, and is the range of the repelling force, where is a ground state of and is as given in (4).
In fact, we have shown in  that for a particle with strong charges of the elementary particles, its strong interaction potential is given by
where is the radius of the elementary particle (i.e. the weakton), is the particle radius, is a constant with being the strong interaction attraction radius of this particle, and is the strong interaction constant, which depends on the type of particles.
It is clear that the first part, involving , of the strong interaction potential is repulsive and is due to the gluon fields, and the second main term
gives rise to attractions, responsible for quark confinement. This term is due to the dual gluon fields. This observation leads immediately to the following consequences.
First, in order for a gauge theory to describe the quark confinement, the inclusion of the dual scalar fields are inevitably necessary. Hence the observed quark confinement phenomena can be viewed as another physical evidence for PID.
Second, strong forces display both repulsive and attractive behaviors. For example, as the distance between two quarks increases, the strong force changes from repulsive, to asymptotically free, and then to attractive.
Third, strong forces/interactions are layered, and we shall explore more physical consequences of the layered potentials in the future posts.
Tian Ma & Shouhong Wang