ASYMPTOTIC FREEDOM, CONFINEMENT, AND THE CONVERGENCE OF THE PERTURBATION EXPANSION IN QUANTUM CHROMODYNAMICS

Authors


  • Supported by a contract (EY-76-C-02–0016) with the U.S. Department of Energy. The U.S. Government retains a nonexclusive, royalty-free license to publish or reproduce the published form of this contribution, or allow others to do so, for U.S. Government purposes.

Abstract

Recently, Maurice Goldhaber remarked in an after-dinner speech that perhaps neutrons could have been inferred much earlier. He made the point that not all multiples of hydrogen were found among the atomic weights of the known elements, which together with discrepancies from integer multiples of hydrogen is sufficient to question Prout's hypothesis. This could have led to the speculation that elements are built of not only “Proutons but also New-ons” of comparable weight. It is a pity that such criteria do not exist today for the quark model of hadrons. However, this model, when all constituents and gluons are included, has the possibility of accommodating not only what are conventionally accepted quark model states but also exotics of various kinds and eventually nuclei themselves.

Recently, a considerable theoretical framework has evolved around quarks and gluons known as quantum chromodynamics. This theory is still at a primitive level as far as our ability to perform calculations. However, it is the only possible field theory that contains any hope of understanding both quark freedom at high energies and their strong binding within hadrons. I present a possible viewpoint on how both features could be true without apparent conflict. I also make some speculation on the nature of the perturbation expansion in such a world. What these speculations lack in originality I hope is compensated for by clarity.

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