flux tube animation


This animation shows the suppression of the QCD vacuum from the region between a quark-antiquark pair illustrated by the coloured spheres. The separation of the quarks varies from 0.125 fm to 2.25 fm, the latter being about 1.3 times the diameter of a proton. The surface plot illustrates the reduction of the vacuum action density in a plane passing through the centers of the quark-antiquark pair. The vector field illustrates the gradient of this reduction. The tube joining the two quarks reveals the positions in space where the vacuum action is maximally expelled and corresponds to the famous “flux tube” of QCD. As the separation between the quarks changes the tube gets longer but the diameter remains approximately constant. As it costs energy to expel the vacuum field fluctuations, a linear confinement potential is felt between quarks.

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