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Organizer: Igor Klebanov
The Simons Foundation is pleased to announce the establishment of the Simons Collaboration on Confinement and QCD Strings, directed by Igor Klebanov of Princeton University.
Quantum chromodynamics (QCD) provides the fundamental description of the strong nuclear force and is a key component of the Standard Model of particle physics. The strong interactions are responsible, among other things, for binding protons and neutrons into nuclei, in spite of the electric repulsion of the protons. QCD is a quantum gauge field theory with local SU(3) invariance that describes the interactions of colored quarks and gluons. They are observed to be “confined” inside the color-neutral hadrons, such as the protons, neutrons and pi-mesons. The celebrated asymptotic freedom of QCD implies that the gauge coupling vanishes in the short distance limit. The converse effect is its growth at long distances, giving rise to a host of non-perturbative phenomena, including chiral symmetry breaking and the appearance of a mass gap related to the absence of the colored particles (quarks and gluons) as asymptotic states. While evidence for these phenomena has been provided by the numerical lattice simulations of QCD, as well as by simplified theoretical models, their proof in QCD is still missing. The color confinement property of QCD is among the most important and fascinating phenomena in fundamental physics. This is a profound problem, which is the first in the list of the Clay Mathematics Institute’s Millennium Problems. One of the goals of the new Simons Collaboration is to improve our understanding of confinement in various gauge theories, including QCD.
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