In our initial post about quarkonia we have derived the interquark potential from the gluon propagator. In this post we want to deepen this matter being this central to all hadronic bound states. The gluon propagator is given by
with GeV being the string tension that is just an integration constant of Yang-Mills theory, arising from conformal invariance, to be fixed experimentally. We have obtained this propagator in a series of papers starting from a massless scalar theory. The most relevant of them is here. It is immediate to recognize that this propagator is just an infinite superposition of Yukawa propagators. But the expectations from effective theories are quite different (see Brambilla’s CERN yellow report here). Indeed, a largely used interquark potential is given by
but this potential is just phenomenological and not derived from QCD. Rather, as pointed out by Gocharov (see here) this potential is absolutely not a solution of QCD. We note that it would be if the linear term is just neglected as happens at very small distances where
We can derive this potential from the gluon propagator imposing and Fourier transforming in space obtaining
and we can Taylor expand the exponential in r obtaining
but we see immediately that and so no linear term exists in the potential for heavy quarkonia! This means that we can formulate a relativistic theory of heavy quarkonia by solving the Dirac equation for the corresponding Coulombic-like potential whose solution is well-known and adding the b constant. We will discuss such a spectrum in future posts.
For lighter quarks the situation is more involved as we have to take into account the full potential and in this case no solution is known and one has to use numerical computation. But solving Dirac equation on a computer should be surely easier than treating full QCD.