Extremal curves in -dimensional Yang–Mills theory

Peter Orland, Gordon W. Semenoff
2000 Nuclear Physics B  
We examine the structure of the potential energy of 2+1-dimensional Yang-Mills theory on a torus with gauge group SU(2). We use a standard definition of distance on the space of gauge orbits. A curve of extremal potential energy in orbit space defines connections satisfying a certain partial differential equation. We argue that the energy spectrum is gapped because the extremal curves are of finite length. Though classical gluon waves satisfy our differential equation, they are not extremal
more » ... es. We construct examples of extremal curves and find how the length of these curves depends on the dimensions of the torus. The intersections with the Gribov horizon are determined explicitly. The results are discussed in the context of Feynman's ideas about the origin of the mass gap.
doi:10.1016/s0550-3213(00)00134-6 fatcat:iakqr3wb3zhlbeyo4l2oztmln4