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A real photon is wieved as an electromagnetic wave. In addition, if gravitons exist, we can view real gravitons as gravitational waves. However, can we observe the waves from the weak and strong nuclear force? I have never heard about them, therefore, I don't think they exist. Is the statements below the correct answer to why we are not observing any of those waves?

  1. We are not observing ang waves from the strong nuclear force becuause it is prevented from color confinement, which says that every quark and gluon can only exist as a pair, making the color white. Therefore, we cannot observe free gluons.

  2. We cannot observe waves from the weak nuclear force because the bosons are so massive, that they will decay imminently.

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  • $\begingroup$ 'I have never heard about them, therefore, I don't think they exist' - maybe that's a position that you should consider more carefully? $\endgroup$ – Emilio Pisanty Jun 13 '17 at 6:44
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The statement "A real photon is viewed as an electromagnetic wave" is not true. It is analogous to saying "a brick is viewed as a building made of bricks". The classical electromagnetic wave is an emergent phenomenon from zillions of photons, which are electromagnetism at the quantum framework. A photon is not an electromagnetic wave, it is a building block of the em wave. The same for gravitons ( though quantization of gravity is still at the research stage, but everyone expects that gravitons will be there) and the recently observed gravitational waves. One should know that the classical system emerges from the quantum mechanical and the two systems differ.

A gluon is not wave, it is a particle in the elementary particles table of the standard model. The same is true for the W and Z of the weak interaction.

Your 1 and 2 are correct, gluons can only exist within the confinement volume of hadrons. No macroscopic "wave" can emerge to be observed in the lab. The W and Z decay very fast and no confluence of zillions of W and Z can be built macroscopically.

In cosmology though, depending on the particle model used, there exists the energy necessary for the weak and electromagnetic interactions to be symmetric . i.e. W and Z with zero mass, and at that period weak waves could exist as far as the mathematics goes. At the quark gluon plasma time of cosmology gluons could also mathematically form macroscopic waves.

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Well if you wish you can see the "wave-like"-nature of the gauge bosons when you calculate cross-sections, for processes where a decay in either a Z boson or a photon is possible. You will see that your matrix-element squared will produce interference terms between the photon and the Z boson.

At least for the Electro-Weak part, the gauge-bosons obey similar equation of motions for the respective vector fields. So I think you would also get plane-wave like solutions for the vector-fields. Although You have to keep in mind that there is no such thing as Maxwell's equations for the Weak-interaction since they were only introduced for the local-gauge symmetry and are therefore specific to quantum field theory.

Concerning your two statements:

  1. I think this is viewed the wrong way around. I would rather argue that we cannot have free gluons because of the strong self-interaction, which leads to a potential which tends to be linear in distance, hence, we get confinement. This of course depends on the number of flavours and/or colors if I'm not mistaken. The fact that something has to be color-neutral or a singlet under $SU(3)_c$, was if I remember correctly solely due to non observation of colored objects.

  2. See my answer above for "observing waves". But in general I think you are correct, saying that it is extremely difficult to do, say something like a "double-slit"-experiment, because the bosons decay very fast.

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