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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Centre vortices are the seeds of dynamical chiral symmetry breaking


Using lattice QCD, we reveal a fundamental connection between centre vortices and several key features associated with dynamical chiral symmetry breaking and quark confinement. Calculations are performed in pure SU(3) gauge theory using the chiral overlap fermion action. Starting from the original Monte Carlo gauge fields, a vortex identification procedure yields vortex-removed and vortex-only backgrounds. We examine the static quark potential, the quark mass function, the hadron spectrum, the local topological charge density, and the distribution of instanton-like objects on the original, vortex-removed and vortex-only ensembles. The removal of vortices consistently results in the removal of the corresponding feature associated with dynamical chiral symmetry breaking. Remarkably, we observe that after some smoothing, in each of these cases, the vortex-only degrees of freedom are able to encapsulate the pertinent features of the original gauge fields.

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