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Isolating Quarks

  1. Nov 13, 2013 #1
    Ok so I want to preface my question with the fact that I'm not trying to present a crackpot theory, I obviously have a flaw in my logic I just need a little correcting.

    So I was reading about gluons and read that they had to have a mass to allow the strong force to have a limiting range. So this lead my thoughts to the conclusion that they must therefore have a speed less than c and therefore if we could separate two quarks faster than the speed that the gluons could move between them, how could more quark pairs be created. This would lead to isolation of quarks. This can't be right.

    Any help would be appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 13, 2013 #2


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    No, the mass of a gluon is zero, and the strong force (actually the color force) has an infinite range.

    What prevents quarks from separating is that gluons also interact with each other, and as a consequence the color force gets stronger and stronger with increasing distance. It's as if the quarks found themselves trapped in a harmonic oscillator potential which rises indefinitely at large distances.
  4. Nov 13, 2013 #3
    That makes a lot of sense, in fact you just cleared up another thing on my mind related to this topic with that answer. Thank you!
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