Gluon
In Feynman diagrams, emitted gluons are represented as helices. This diagram depicts the annihilation of an electron and positron.


Composition  Elementary particle 

Statistics  Bosonic 
Interactions  Strong interaction 
Symbol  g 
Theorized  Murray GellMann (1962)^{[1]} 
Discovered 
e^{+}e^{−} → Y(9.46) → 3g: 1978 at DORIS (DESY) by PLUTO experiments (see diagram 1 and recollection^{[2]}) 
Types  8 
Mass 
0 MeV/c^{2} (Theoretical value)^{[4]} < 0.0002 eV/c^{2} (Experimental limit)^{[5]} 
Electric charge  0 e^{[4]} 
Color charge  octet (8 linearly independent types) 
Spin  1 
Standard Model of particle physics 

Large Hadron Collider tunnel at CERN

Constituents

Limitations

Scientists
Sudarshan · Koshiba · Davis, Jr. · Anderson · Fermi · Dirac · Feynman · Rubbia · GellMann · Kendall · Taylor · Friedman · Powell · P. W. Anderson · Glashow · Meer · Cowan · Nambu · Chamberlain · Cabibbo · Schwartz · Perl · Majorana · Weinberg · Lee · Ward · Salam · Kobayashi · Maskawa · Yang · Yukawa · 't Hooft · Veltman · Gross · Politzer · Wilczek · Cronin · Fitch · Vleck · Higgs · Englert · Brout · Hagen · Guralnik · Kibble · Ting · Richter

Gluons are elementary particles that act as the exchange particles (or gauge bosons) for the strong force between quarks, analogous to the exchange of photons in the electromagnetic force between two charged particles.^{[6]}
In technical terms, gluons are vector gauge bosons that mediate strong interactions of quarks in quantum chromodynamics (QCD). Gluons themselves carry the color charge of the strong interaction. This is unlike the photon, which mediates the electromagnetic interaction but lacks an electric charge. Gluons therefore participate in the strong interaction in addition to mediating it, making QCD significantly harder to analyze than QED (quantum electrodynamics).
Contents
 Properties 1

Numerology of gluons 2
 Color charge and superposition 2.1
 Color singlet states 2.2
 Eight gluon colors 2.3
 Group theory details 2.4
 Confinement 3
 Experimental observations 4
 See also 5
 References 6
 Further reading 7
Properties
The gluon is a vector boson; like the photon, it has a spin of 1. While massive spin1 particles have three polarization states, massless gauge bosons like the gluon have only two polarization states because gauge invariance requires the polarization to be transverse. In quantum field theory, unbroken gauge invariance requires that gauge bosons have zero mass (experiment limits the gluon's rest mass to less than a few meV/c^{2}). The gluon has negative intrinsic parity.
Numerology of gluons
Unlike the single photon of QED or the three W and Z bosons of the weak interaction, there are eight independent types of gluon in QCD.
This may be difficult to understand intuitively. Quarks carry three types of color charge; antiquarks carry three types of anticolor. Gluons may be thought of as carrying both color and anticolor, but to correctly understand how they are combined, it is necessary to consider the mathematics of color charge in more detail.
Color charge and superposition
In quantum mechanics, the states of particles may be added according to the principle of superposition; that is, they may be in a "combined state" with a probability, if some particular quantity is measured, of giving several different outcomes. A relevant illustration in the case at hand would be a gluon with a color state described by:
 (r\bar{b}+b\bar{r})/\sqrt{2}.
This is read as "red–antiblue plus blue–antired". (The factor of the square root of two is required for normalization, a detail that is not crucial to understand in this discussion.) If one were somehow able to make a direct measurement of the color of a gluon in this state, there would be a 50% chance of it having redantiblue color charge and a 50% chance of blueantired color charge.
Color singlet states
It is often said that the stable strongly interacting particles (such as the proton and the neutron, i.e. hadrons) observed in nature are "colorless", but more precisely they are in a "color singlet" state, which is mathematically analogous to a spin singlet state.^{[7]} Such states allow interaction with other color singlets, but not with other color states; because longrange gluon interactions do not exist, this illustrates that gluons in the singlet state do not exist either.^{[7]}
The color singlet state is:^{[7]}
 (r\bar{r}+b\bar{b}+g\bar{g})/\sqrt{3}.
In words, if one could measure the color of the state, there would be equal probabilities of it being redantired, blueantiblue, or greenantigreen.
Eight gluon colors
There are eight remaining independent color states, which correspond to the "eight types" or "eight colors" of gluons. Because states can be mixed together as discussed above, there are many ways of presenting these states, which are known as the "color octet". One commonly used list is:^{[7]}
(r\bar{b}+b\bar{r})/\sqrt{2}  i(r\bar{b}b\bar{r})/\sqrt{2}  
(r\bar{g}+g\bar{r})/\sqrt{2}  i(r\bar{g}g\bar{r})/\sqrt{2}  
(b\bar{g}+g\bar{b})/\sqrt{2}  i(b\bar{g}g\bar{b})/\sqrt{2}  
(r\bar{r}b\bar{b})/\sqrt{2}  (r\bar{r}+b\bar{b}2g\bar{g})/\sqrt{6}. 
These are equivalent to the GellMann matrices; the translation between the two is that redantired is the upperleft matrix entry, redantiblue is the upper middle entry, blueantigreen is the middle right entry, and so on. The critical feature of these particular eight states is that they are linearly independent, and also independent of the singlet state; there is no way to add any combination of states to produce any other. (It is also impossible to add them to make rr, gg, or bb^{[8]} otherwise the forbidden singlet state could also be made.) There are many other possible choices, but all are mathematically equivalent, at least equally complex, and give the same physical results.
Group theory details
Technically, QCD is a gauge theory with SU(3) gauge symmetry. Quarks are introduced as spinor fields in N_{f} flavors, each in the fundamental representation (triplet, denoted 3) of the color gauge group, SU(3). The gluons are vector fields in the adjoint representation (octets, denoted 8) of color SU(3). For a general gauge group, the number of forcecarriers (like photons or gluons) is always equal to the dimension of the adjoint representation. For the simple case of SU(N), the dimension of this representation is N^{2} − 1.
In terms of group theory, the assertion that there are no color singlet gluons is simply the statement that quantum chromodynamics has an SU(3) rather than a U(3) symmetry. There is no known a priori reason for one group to be preferred over the other, but as discussed above, the experimental evidence supports SU(3).^{[7]}
Confinement
Since gluons themselves carry color charge, they participate in strong interactions. These gluongluon interactions constrain color fields to stringlike objects called "flux tubes", which exert constant force when stretched. Due to this force, quarks are confined within composite particles called hadrons. This effectively limits the range of the strong interaction to 10^{−15} meters, roughly the size of an atomic nucleus. Beyond a certain distance, the energy of the flux tube binding two quarks increases linearly. At a large enough distance, it becomes energetically more favorable to pull a quarkantiquark pair out of the vacuum rather than increase the length of the flux tube.
Gluons also share this property of being confined within hadrons. One consequence is that gluons are not directly involved in the nuclear forces between hadrons. The force mediators for these are other hadrons called mesons.
Although in the normal phase of QCD single gluons may not travel freely, it is predicted that there exist hadrons that are formed entirely of gluons — called glueballs. There are also conjectures about other exotic hadrons in which real gluons (as opposed to virtual ones found in ordinary hadrons) would be primary constituents. Beyond the normal phase of QCD (at extreme temperatures and pressures), quark gluon plasma forms. In such a plasma there are no hadrons; quarks and gluons become free particles.
Experimental observations
Quarks and gluons (colored) manifest themselves by fragmenting into more quarks and gluons, which in turn hadronize into normal (colorless) particles, correlated in jets. As shown in 1978 summer conferences^{[2]} the PLUTO experiments at the electronpositron collider DORIS (DESY) reported the first evidence that the hadronic decays of the very narrow resonance Y(9.46) could be interpreted as threejet event topologies produced by three gluons. Later published analyses by the same experiment confirmed this interpretation and also the spin 1 nature of the gluon^{[9]}^{[10]} (see also the recollection^{[2]} and PLUTO experiments).
In summer 1979 at higher energies at the electronpositron collider PETRA (DESY) again threejet topologies were observed, now interpreted as qq gluon bremsstrahlung, now clearly visible, by TASSO,^{[11]} MARKJ^{[12]} and PLUTO experiments^{[13]} (later in 1980 also by JADE^{[14]}). The spin 1 of the gluon was confirmed in 1980 by TASSO^{[15]} and PLUTO experiments^{[16]} (see also the review^{[3]}). In 1991 a subsequent experiment at the LEP storage ring at CERN again confirmed this result.^{[17]}
The gluons play an important role in the elementary strong interactions between quarks and gluons, described by QCD and studied particularly at the electronproton collider HERA at DESY. The number and momentum distribution of the gluons in the proton (gluon density) have been measured by two experiments, H1 and ZEUS,^{[18]} in the years 1996 till today (2012). The gluon contribution to the proton spin has been studied by the HERMES experiment at HERA.^{[19]} The gluon density in the photon (when behaving hadronically) has also been measured.^{[20]}
Color confinement is verified by the failure of free quark searches (searches of fractional charges). Quarks are normally produced in pairs (quark + antiquark) to compensate the quantum color and flavor numbers; however at Fermilab single production of top quarks has been shown (technically this still involves a pair production, but quark and antiquark are of different flavor).^{[21]} No glueball has been demonstrated.
Deconfinement was claimed in 2000 at CERN SPS^{[22]} in heavyion collisions, and it implies a new state of matter: quark–gluon plasma, less interacting than in the nucleus, almost as in a liquid. It was found at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) at Brookhaven in the years 2004–2010 by four contemporaneous experiments.^{[23]} A quark–gluon plasma state has been confirmed at the CERN Large Hadron Collider (LHC) by the three experiments ALICE, ATLAS and CMS in 2010.^{[24]}
See also
 Quark
 Hadron
 Meson
 Gauge boson
 Quark model
 Quantum chromodynamics
 Quark–gluon plasma
 Color confinement
 Glueball
 Gluon field
 Gluon field strength tensor
 Exotic hadrons
 Standard Model
 Threejet events
 Deep inelastic scattering
References
 ^ M. GellMann (1962). "Symmetries of Baryons and Mesons".
 ^ ^{a} ^{b} ^{c} B.R. Stella and H.J. Meyer (2011). "Y(9.46 GeV) and the gluon discovery (a critical recollection of PLUTO results)".
 ^ ^{a} ^{b} P. Söding (2010). "On the discovery of the gluon".
 ^ ^{a} ^{b} W.M. Yao et al. (2006). "Review of Particle Physics".
 ^ F. Yndurain (1995). "Limits on the mass of the gluon".
 ^ C.R. Nave. "The Color Force".
 ^ ^{a} ^{b} ^{c} ^{d} ^{e} Introduction to Elementary Particles.
 ^ J. Baez. "Why are there eight gluons and not nine?". Retrieved 20090913.
 ^ Ch. Berger et al. (PLUTO Collaboration) (1979). "Jet analysis of the Y(9.46) decay into charged hadrons".
 ^ Ch. Berger et al. (PLUTO Collaboration) (1981). "Topology of the Y decay".
 ^ R. Brandelik et al. (
 ^ D.P. Barber et al. (MARKJ collaboration) (1979). "Discovery of ThreeJet Events and a Test of Quantum Chromodynamics at PETRA".
 ^ Ch. Berger et al. (PLUTO Collaboration) (1979). "Evidence for Gluon Bremsstrahlung in e^{+}e^{−} Annihilations at High Energies".
 ^ W. Bartel et al. (JADE Collaboration) (1980). "Observation of planar threejet events in e^{+}e^{−} annihilation and evidence for gluon bremsstrahlung".
 ^ R. Brandelik et al. (
 ^ Ch. Berger et al. (PLUTO Collaboration) (1980). "A study of multijet events in e^{+}e^{−} annihilation".
 ^ G. Alexander et al. (
 ^ L. Lindeman (H1 and ZEUS collaborations) (1997). "Proton structure functions and gluon density at HERA".
 ^ http://wwwhermes.desy.de
 ^ C. Adloff et al. (H1 collaboration) (1999). "Charged particle cross sections in the photoproduction and extraction of the gluon density in the photon".
 ^ M. Chalmers (6 March 2009). "Top result for Tevatron".
 ^ M.C. Abreu et al. (2000). "Evidence for deconfinement of quark and antiquark from the J/Ψ suppression pattern measured in PbPb collisions at the CERN SpS".
 ^ D. Overbye (15 February 2010). "In Brookhaven Collider, Scientists Briefly Break a Law of Nature".
 ^ "LHC experiments bring new insight into primordial universe" (Press release).
Further reading
 A. Ali and G. Kramer (2011). "JETS and QCD: A historical review of the discovery of the quark and gluon jets and its impact on QCD".
