Rafael Frigori is a reader of this blog and I have had a lot of very interesting opinion exchanges with him here. He belongs to a group of people in Brazil doing groundbreaking work in lattice computations of gauge theories obtaining cornerstone results. Beside him, I would also like to cite Attilio Cucchieri and Tereza Mendes that helped to improve significantly our current understanding on the way Yang-Mills theory behaves at low energies. This time Rafael has done an excellent work to show that Yang-Mills theory in d=2+1 indeed maps on a scalar field theory displaying the same mass spectrum. Actually, this is exactly the content of my mapping theorem that I used to prove that Yang-Mills theory in a strong coupling limit shows a mass gap. You can find Rafael’s paper here. Mapping theorem was firstly proposed by me here and, after Terry Tao pointed out a problem in the proof (see here), the question was finally settled here. Both these papers went published in Physics Letters B and Modern Physics Letters A respectively. The former gives the consequences of this theorem showing how the mass gap can be obtained.
Lattice computations are an essential tool today toward our understanding of quantum field theory in limits where known mathematical techniques fail. So, to see our mathematical result at work in a lattice computation is really striking and open the path toward a new set of mathematical tools to manage these theories in unexpected regimes. This can be beneficial to any area of high-energy physics ranging from string theory to phenomenology. This gives a hint of the importance of Rafael’s paper. It is like a Pandora box is started to be open!
Why is so important to map theories? The main reason to derive mapping is to reduce a complex theory to a simpler one that we are able to manage. In this case, the conclusion is that Yang-Mills theory may belong to the same universality class of the scalar field theory and the Ising model in the infrared limit. This implies that a wealth of results can be immediately taken from a theory to another. What makes the question interesting is the fact that one knows how to manage a scalar field theory in the infrared limit. In a paper I have got published in Physical Review D (see here) I was able to present such techniques deriving the propagator and the spectrum of the theory in this limit.
Having the propagator of the theory gives immediately an effective theory to do computations in the low energy limit. I have had the chance, quite recently, to be in Montpellier thanks to the invitation of Stephan Narison. Stephan organized a very beautiful workshop (see here). You can find all the talks (also mine) here. In this talk I show how computations at low energies for strong interactions can be done. This is a matter I am still working on.
I take this chance to thank Rafael very much for this paper that gives a serious evidence of the correctness of my work and, at the same time, opens up a new significant way toward our understanding of infrared physics.