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Concept# Quantum chromodynamics

Summary

In theoretical physics, quantum chromodynamics (QCD) is the theory of the strong interaction between quarks mediated by gluons. Quarks are fundamental particles that make up composite hadrons such as the proton, neutron and pion. QCD is a type of quantum field theory called a non-abelian gauge theory, with symmetry group SU(3). The QCD analog of electric charge is a property called color. Gluons are the force carriers of the theory, just as photons are for the electromagnetic force in quantum electrodynamics. The theory is an important part of the Standard Model of particle physics. A large body of experimental evidence for QCD has been gathered over the years.
QCD exhibits three salient properties:

- Color confinement. Due to the force between two color charges remaining constant as they are separated, the energy grows until a quark–antiquark pair is spontaneously produced, turning the initial hadron into a pair of hadrons instead of isolating a color charge. Although analytically

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Quantum field theory

In theoretical physics, quantum field theory (QFT) is a theoretical framework that combines classical field theory, special relativity, and quantum mechanics. QFT is used in particle physics to cons

Quark

A quark (kwɔːrk,_kwɑːrk) is a type of elementary particle and a fundamental constituent of matter. Quarks combine to form composite particles called hadrons, the most stable of which are protons and

Standard Model

The Standard Model of particle physics is the theory describing three of the four known fundamental forces (electromagnetic, weak and strong interactions – excluding gravity) in the universe and cla

High-energy particle physics is going through a crucial moment of its history, one in which it can finally aspire to give a precise answer to some of the fundamental questions it has been conceived for. On the one side, the theoretical picture describing the elementary strong and electroweak interactions below the TeV scale, the Standard Model, has been well consolidated over the decades by the observation and the precise characterization of its constituents. On the other hand, the enormous technological potentialities nowadays available, and the skills accumulated in decades of collider experiments with increasingly high complexity, render for the first time plausible the possibility of addressing complicated and conceptually deep questions like the ones at hand. The best incarnation of this high level of sophistication is the CERN Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the most powerful experimental apparatus ever built, which is designed to shed light on the true nature of fundamental interactions at energies never attained before, and which has already started to open a new era in physics with the recent discovery of the longed-for Higgs boson, a true milestone for the human knowledge as well as one of the most important discoveries in the modern epoch. The knowledge that has been and is going to be reached in these crucial years would of course not be conceivable without a deep interplay between the theoretical and the experimental efforts. In particular, on the theoretical side, not only there are wide groups of researchers devoted to building possible extensions to the Standard Model, which draws the guidelines of current and future experiments, but also there is a vast community whose research is rather aimed at the precise predictions of all the physical observables that could be measured at colliders, and at the systematic improvement of the approximations that currently constrain such predictions. On top of representing the state-of-the-art of the human understanding of the properties that regulate elementary-particle interactions and of the formalisms that describe them, the developments of this line of research have an immediate and significant impact on experiments. Firstly, these detailed calculations are the very theoretical predictions against which experimental data are compared, so they are crucial in establishing the validity or not of the theories according to which they are performed. Secondly, the signals one wants to extract from data at modern colliders are so tiny and difficult to single out that the experimental searches themselves need be supplemented by a detailed work of theoretical modelling and simulation. In this respect, high-precision computations play an essential role in all analysis strategies devised by experimental collaborations, and in many aspects of the detector calibration. It is clear that, for theoretical computations to be useful in experimental analyses and simulations, the predictions they yield should be reliable for all possible configurations of the particles to be detected. Thus the key feature for the present theoretical collider physics is not particularly the computation of observables with high precision only in a limited region of the phase space, but the capability of combining (‘matching’) in a consistent way different approaches, each of which is reliable in a particular kinematic regime. With this perspective, matching techniques represent one of the most promising and successful theoretical frameworks currently available, and are considered as eminently valuable tools both on the theoretical and on the experimental sides. Matched computations are based on a perturbation-theory approach for the description of configurations in which the scattering products are well separated and/or highly energetic: in particular the precision currently attained for all but a few of the relevant processes within the Standard Model is the next-to-leading order (NLO) in powers of the strong quantum-chromodynamics (QCD) coupling constant αS; for the description of configurations in which the particles outgoing the collisions are close to each other and/or have low energy, it can be shown that the perturbation-theory expansion breaks down, and then a complementary method, like the parton shower Monte Carlo (PSMC), has instead to be employed. The task of matching is precisely that of giving a prediction that interpolates between the two approaches in a smooth and theoretically-consistent way. This thesis is focused on MC@NLO, a high-energy physics formalism capable of matching computations performed at the NLO in QCD to PSMC generators, in such a way as to retain the virtues of both approaches while discarding their mutual deficiencies. In particular, the thesis reports on the work successfully achieved in extending MC@NLO from its original numerical implementation, tailored on the HERWIG PSMC, to the other main PSMC programs currently employed by experimental collaborations, PYTHIA and Herwig++, confirming the advocated universality of the method. Differences in the various realizations are explained in detail both at the formal level and through the simulation of various Standard-Model reactions. Moreover we describe how the MC@NLO framework has been developed so as to render its implementation automatic with respect to the physics process one is about to simulate: beyond yielding an enormous increase in its potential for present and future collider phenomenology, and upgrading the standard of precision for high-energy computations to the NLO+PSMC level, this development allows for the first time the application of the MC@NLO formalism to a huge number of relevant and highly complicated reactions, through an implementation which is also easily usable by people well-outside the community of experts in QCD calculations. As example of this new version, called aMC@NLO, recent results are presented for complex scattering processes, involving four or five final-state particles. Finally, possible extensions of the framework to theories beyond the Standard Model, like the supersymmetric version of QCD, are briefly introduced.

We study the effects of the CP-breaking topological theta-term in the large N-c QCD model by Witten, Sakai and Sugimoto with N-f degenerate light flavors. We first compute the ground state energy density, the topological susceptibility and the masses of the lowest lying mesons, finding agreement with expectations from the QCD chiral effective action. Then, focusing on the N (f) = 2 case, we consider the baryonic sector and determine, to leading order in the small theta regime, the related holographic instantonic soliton solutions. We find that while the baryon spectrum does not receive Omicron(theta) corrections, this is not the case for observables like the electromagnetic form factor of the nucleons. In particular, it exhibits a dipole term, which turns out to be vector-meson dominated. The resulting neutron electric dipole moment, which is exactly the opposite as that of the proton, is of the same order of magnitude of previous estimates in the literature. Finally, we compute the CP-violating pion-nucleon coupling constant g ($) over bar (pi NN,) finding that it is zero to leading order in the large N (c) limit.

We compute the electric dipole moment of nucleons in the large N-c QCD model by Witten, Sakai, and Sugimoto with N-f = 2 degenerate massive flavors. Baryons in the model are instantonic solitons of an effective five-dimensional action describing the whole tower of mesonic fields. We find that the dipole electromagnetic form factor of the nucleons, induced by a finite topological. angle, exhibits complete vector meson dominance. We are able to evaluate the contribution of each vector meson to the final result a small number of modes are relevant to obtain an accurate estimate. Extrapolating the model parameters to real QCD data, the neutron electric dipole moment is evaluated to be d(n) = 1.8 x 10(-16)theta e cm. The electric dipole moment of the proton is exactly the opposite.