Fundamental physics

Quark confinement at chemical nonequilibrium

The binding of free quarks to free antiquarks into pairs is difficult to describe in QCD, because of the strong coupling at low energies and the nonabelian infrared dievergences [F14]. Another problem is the emergence of excess quarks, i.e. of valence quarks. The big bang is assumed to have produced equal densities of free quarks and antiquarks. When the temperature decreased in the early universe, this led to the emergence of a nonzero density of valence quarks, and the formation of an infinite sea of quark-antiquark pairs. Apparently this took place without leaving any residual antiquark density behind. Thus, the density of quarks must have increased relative to that of antiquarks in a chemical nonequilibrium relaxation dynamics. From a principle point of view, this should not be more complicated to imagine than the Hilbert’s Grand Hotel paradox.  The problem was to describe the underlying relaxation dynamics. Because as the temperature decreased, the quarks condensed into point-like elementary particles, e.g. nucleons and Higgs bosons, implying a confinement process under strong spatial correlation conditions. This clearly goes beyond the grand canonical ensemble, which only allows fluctuations about a constant number of particles, and hence beyond lattice QCD and the standard model. A solution to the problem was provided in refs. [1, 2] here above.

Spontaneous symmetry breakdown

As is well-known, ‘spontaneous symmetry breakdown’ takes place in a variety of emergent phenomena such as superconductivity, superfluidity, ferromagnetism, formation of crystals and polymers. It also provides mass to the various bosons in  electroweak theory. A similar mechanism is thought to generate mass to quarks in quantum chromodynamics (QCD). Interestingly, the dynamics that controls segregation of replicated DNA in a dividing cell is subjected to a spontaneous symmetry break-down too, suggesting that this type of superconductor-like dynamics and spontaneous symmetry break-down should be basic ingredients in the definition of an anthropic principle.