Big Bang cosmology and grand unification theories say that the strong force and the electroweak force separated during the electroweak epoch, i.e., $10^{-36}$ to $10^{-32}$ seconds after the Planck epoch. I also read some accounts that say the strong force fields and the electroweak fields separated during the same electroweak epoch. However, since gluon fields do not a appear apart from quarks, then I suppose gluon fields did not arise until the origin of quarks in the quark epoch, i.e., $10^{-12}$ to $10^{-6}$ seconds after the Planck epoch.

If this is the case, then I suppose the strong force separated from the electroweak force during the electroweak epoch; yet no strong force fields arose until the quark epoch. Has anybody proposed this model?

  • $\begingroup$ I'm confused by your edit. If you are quoting your first answer in order to refine your question, why have you accepted that answer? On the other hand, if your question is answered, why have you copied the answer above your question? I think I'm going to assume your question has been answered and revert your edit, but don't feel beholden to my guesses. $\endgroup$ – rob Jun 29 '17 at 22:45
  • $\begingroup$ The reason I copied the answer above my question is because the answer corrected a false assumption in my description. My description assumes that baryogenesis occurred during the quark epoch, and Rennie pointed out the error in my assumption. I first considered deleting the question because of the error in my assumption, but a message warned me against that. So I tried to correct my false assumption by block quoting Rennie. $\endgroup$ – James Goetz Jun 30 '17 at 0:43

The quark epoch is not the time when quarks first emerged. It describes the period after electroweak unification when the temperature was still too high for the quarks to bind into hadrons i.e. the period during which they were present as a quark gluon plasma.

Assuming the grand unification ideas are on the right lines, quarks and gluons first became distinct particles after grand unification. The only change after the electroweak symmetry breaking is that the quarks acquired a mass, but the lighter quark masses are pretty small and wouldn't have made much difference.


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