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Elementary Particles and the World of Planck Scale

Quark Confinement

Quark Confinement In electromagnetic interaction, the electric field lines spread out when the charges move away from each other as shown in the left diagram of Figure 15-09. The same situation in QCD elicits a different response because the gluons themselves also carry the colour charges. The field lines (of the moving sources) are drawn together by the mutual attraction instead of spreading out. (See right diagram of Figure 15-09.) As the pull getting stronger with further separation, the system will gain enough energy to promote a virtual quark-antiquark pair from the vacuum into physical reality. This will give rise to the creation of a new meson as shown in the right-bottom diagram of Figure 15-09. So the energy expended in attempting to separate the quarks has resulted in the production of another meson, no free quark is produced.

Figure 15-09 Quark Confinement
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See "Yang-Mills Theory" in Special Topic for further detail.

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