The gluon is the carrier boson strong nuclear interaction, one of the four fundamental forces. It has no mass or electrical charge, but it does have a color charge, so in addition to transmitting the strong interaction, it also suffers it.


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  • 1 Definition
  • 2 Features
  • 3 Properties
  • 4 interactions
  • 5 Sources


In Physical matter , it is a subatomic particle, of the boson type, that holds quarks together in the formation of other particles such as neutrons . It has no mass or electrical charge, but it does have a color charge, so it can both transmit and experience the kind of interparticle force known as a strong nuclear interaction.


Generations of matter

Gluons are the color force exchange particles between quarks, analogous to the photon exchange in the electromagnetic force between two charged particles. Gluon can be thought of as the fundamental exchange particle, which underlies the strong interaction between protons and neutrons in a nucleus. This short-range nucleon-nucleon interaction can be considered as a residual color force, which extends beyond the limits of protons or neutrons. That strong interaction was modeled by Yukawa as consisting of an exchange of pions, and indeed, the calculation of the range of the pion, was helpful in developing our understanding of the strong force.


Like the photon , the gluon is a massless , spin 1-charged boson . Like quarks , gluons have a color charge, which depends on the color change of the quarks. The quarks change color when gluons are exchanged, so that the total color charge of the system formed by the quark and gluon, before and after emission or absorption is the same.

For example, if a red quark turns blue when emitting a gluon, then it is because it emits a red-anti-blue gluon (the red part of the gluon is the red that the quark loses, and the anti-blue is to cancel the blue that the quark gains. ). The system has red net color charge.

There are also 8 types of gluons, each one being a color-anti-color combination. Quarks and gluons form composite particles with neutral full color charge.


Gluon interactions are often represented by a Feynman diagram. Keep in mind that gluon generates a color change in quarks. Gluons are in fact considered to be bicoloured, bearing one color unit and one anti-color unit as suggested in the diagram on the right. The gluon exchange drawing converts a blue quark into a green one and vice versa. The range of the strong force is limited by the fact that gluons interact with each other, as well as with quarks, in the context of quark confinement. These properties contrast with that of photons, which have no mass and are infinite in scope. The photon does not carry an electric charge, while the gluons carry a “color charge”.

Within their approximately one Fermi range , gluons can interact with each other, and can produce virtual quark-antiquark pairs. The characteristic of the interaction with each other is very different from the other exchange particles, and raises the possibility of the existence of collections of gluons called “glueballs”. The internal state of a hadron is considered to be composed of a fixed net number of quarks, but with a dynamic cloud of gluons and quark-antiquark pairs in equilibrium.


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