Confinement, Flux Tubes, and Large N

Coordinators: Sergei Dubovsky, Monica Guica, Igor R. Klebanov, and Pedro Vieira

Scientific Advisors: David Gross and Michael Teper

Color confinement is among the most important and fascinating phenomena in fundamental physics. Non-Abelian gauge theories exhibit asymptotic freedom, the vanishing of the gauge coupling at short distances. The converse effect is its growth at long distances, which gives rise to a host of non-perturbative phenomena, most prominently the formation of bound states: Colored quarks and gluons are not observed in nature, but are confined into color singlet hadrons. An essential, although still unproven, mechanism for color confinement is via formation of chromolectric flux tubes. Such flux tubes have been observed in lattice simulations, and they appear in the gravity duals of confining gauge theories. The large N limit of gauge theories offers a particularly clean setting for studying the confining string, since string splitting and joining is suppressed. The primary goal of this KITP program is to bring together experts on color confinement, string theory, lattice gauge theory, gauge/gravity duality, large N methods and integrability, in order to combine different perspectives and apply new dynamical insights to this classic problem.