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A novel background field approach to the confinement-deconfinement transition

Duifje Maria van Egmond, Urko Reinosa, Julien Serreau, Matthieu Tissier

SciPost Phys. 12, 087 (2022) · published 9 March 2022


We propose a novel approach to the confinement-deconfinement transition in Yang-Mills theories in the context of gauge-fixed calculations. The method is based on a background-field generalisation of the Landau gauge (to which it reduces at vanishing temperature) with a given, center-symmetric background. This is to be contrasted with most implementations of background field methods in gauge theories, where one uses a variable, self-consistent background. Our proposal is a bona fide gauge fixing that can easily be implemented on the lattice and in continuum approaches. The resulting gauge-fixed action explicitly exhibits the center symmetry of the nonzero temperature theory that controls the confinement-deconfinement transition. We show that, in that gauge, the electric susceptibility diverges at a second order transition [e.g., in the SU(2) theory], so that the gluon propagator is a clear probe of the transition. We implement our proposal in the perturbative Curci-Ferrari model, known for its successful description of various infrared aspects of Yang-Mills theories, including the confinement-deconfinement transition. Our one-loop calculation confirms our general expectation for the susceptibility while providing transition temperatures in excellent agreement with the SU(2) and SU(3) lattice values. Finally, the Polyakov loops above the transition show a more moderate rise, in contrast to previous implementations of the Curci-Ferrari model using a self-consistent background, and our SU(3) result agrees quite well with lattice results in the range $[0,2T_c]$.

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