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According to the Wikipedia article on color confinement:

The current theory is that confinement is due to the force-carrying gluons having color charge [...],

i.e. because the gauge group is non-abelian. But that is equally true for the weak force. Does that mean that above the electroweak scale we should expect to find stuff like electrons and neutrinos confined to meson-like states?

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Confinement is prevented because the Higgs mechanism occurs at a scale which is much larger than the SU(2) confinement scale. W's and Z's acquire large masses and the coupling never becomes strong. If we were to lower the electroweak symmetry breaking scale then the theory would eventually become confining. Note that the Higgs and confining phases are continuously connected, see http://prd.aps.org/abstract/PRD/v19/i12/p3682_1 ,and that the low energy behavior of a confining standard model is not qualitatively different from the standard model in the Higgs phase, see http://prd.aps.org/abstract/PRD/v34/i3/p873_1 .

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  • $\begingroup$ Where exactly would SU(2) become confining, if we were to lower the electroweak symmetry breaking scale? $\endgroup$ – alexchandel Jun 23 at 1:45
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    $\begingroup$ @alexchandel You can try to estimate that more carefully using the RG equations, but (very roughly) the SU(2) coupling runs like the QCD coupling, so it becomes strong at $O(100 MeV)$. $\endgroup$ – Thomas Jun 24 at 13:05

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