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Red , Blue and Green quarks are colorless when put together and thus the color of the proton remains colorless.In principle quarks can exchange colorless gluons to keep quarks together. Quarks can also emit colored gluons to keep the quarks together. I was wondering whether there is any preferred method between colored exchange and colorless exchange of gluons? If I say that colored gluons do not exist .. then can I be proved wrong ?

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    $\begingroup$ It is not simple. do read en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gluon#Numerology_of_gluons $\endgroup$ – anna v Apr 28 '16 at 17:29
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    $\begingroup$ Quarks/gluons are not individual objects. They are merely expressing the quantization of the field. In cases where the effective interaction vanishes for infinite distance, we can approximate things in a somewhat familiar manner with separable "particles". For quark-gluon interaction this isn't the case, the theory only becomes "free" in the limit of infinite momenta, but I have not seen an intuitive physical picture for what that means. In general I would abstain from interpreting too much into individual quarks, gluons or even color neutral groups of them. These states are always mixed. $\endgroup$ – CuriousOne Apr 28 '16 at 19:00
  • $\begingroup$ Is photon an object ? Photon is massless and quantized yet we consider it as a particle depending on the nature of experimental setup. Similarly Quarks and Gluons can be considered particle depending upon the experimental setup or the environment, I guess. $\endgroup$ – Dheeraj Verma Apr 28 '16 at 19:15

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