Isolating the confining color field in the SU(3) flux tube


Using lattice Monte Carlo simulations of SU(3) pure gauge theory, we determine the spatial distribution of all components of the color fields created by a static quark and antiquark. We identify the components of the measured chromoelectric field transverse to the line connecting the quark–antiquark pair with the transverse components of an effective Coulomb-like field $\mathbf {E}^C $ associated with the quark sources. Subtracting $\mathbf {E}^C$ from the total simulated chromoelectric field $\mathbf {E}$ yields a non-perturbative, primarily longitudinal chromoelectric field $\mathbf {E}^{ extit{NP}}$ , which we identify as the confining field. This is the first time that the chromoelectric field has been separated into perturbative and nonperturbative components, creating a new tool to study the color field distribution between a quark and an antiquark, and thus the long distance force between them.

Eur. Phys. J. C