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I have read this question:

Participating in strong interactions between the quarks, they are "trapped" within a very tiny region of spacetime that we call "hadron". We don't see some of the gluons running away or spilling outside of proton, resulting in breaking the "trap" and, for example, making the photon to just decay, right? So they are truly trapped there in some way, even though they should move at the speed of light.

If massless objects ALWAYS travel at the speed of light and gluons are massless, how are they trapped within hadrons without a need for event horizon?

This explains the absence of gluon wave detection with color confinement. Though, to my knowledge in the early universe, at some period of time there was something called quark-gluon plasma, which meant no confinement. Now back to gluons and waves. Does the same (at least theoretically) go for gluons as for other massless fields when they propagate through vacuum at the speed of light in the form of waves (EM waves and GWs)? Would there be possibility for a massless field propagating as a gluon wave if there is no confinement to trap the gluons?

Question:

  1. In the early universe (quark-gluon plasma), was there such a thing as a gluon wave like an EM wave and gravitational wave?
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  • $\begingroup$ I would think that there would be a gluon field throughout space time, and any excitation of that field could be considered as a virtual gluon $\endgroup$ Feb 14, 2023 at 4:53
  • $\begingroup$ arxiv.org/abs/0908.4215 $\endgroup$
    – anna v
    Feb 14, 2023 at 5:08

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It's important to keep in mind that the quark-gluon plasma is an extremely dense state of matter. So it is not correct to picture "gluon waves" traveling in vacuum. Rather, there is some kind of collective excitation of coupled quarks and gluons that propagate through the plasma. A better analogy might be plasmons or polaritons, which are collective excitations of a free electron gas in a plasma (plasmon) or of a photon coupled to charged particles in a plasma (polariton).

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you so much! $\endgroup$ Feb 14, 2023 at 22:45

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