To what extent is Gluon Confinement an empirical fact?

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Hidalgo Duque, Carlos
Delgado López, Rafael
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Springer Wien
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Experimental verifications of confinement in hadron physics have established the absence of charges with a fraction of the electron's charge by studying the energy deposited in ionization tracks at high energies, and performing Millikan experiments with charged droplets at rest. These experiments test only the absence of particles with fractional charge in the asymptotic spectrum, and thus "Quark" Confinement. However what theory suggests is that Color is confined, that is, all asymptotic particles are color singlets. Since QCD is a non Abelian theory, the gluon force carriers (indirectly revealed in hadron jets) are colored. We empirically examine what can be said about gluon confinement based on the lack of detection of appropriate events, aiming at an upper bound for high energy free-gluon production.
Work supported by grants FPA 2008-00592, FIS2008-01323, FPA2007-29115-E, PR34- 1856-BSCH, UCM-BSCH GR58/08 910309, PR34/07-15875 (Spain), and a Complutense-GSI exchange grant.
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