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Dynamical Origin of Masses

Dr. Adnan Bashir
Ph. D. on Physics,
University of Durham,
Durham, England (1995).
adnan at

Understanding the origin of mass, in particular that of the fermions, is one of the most uncanny problems which lie at the very frontiers of particle physics. Although the celebrated Standard Model accommodates these masses in a gauge invariant fashion, it fails to predict their values. Moreover, the mass thus generated accounts for only a very small percentage of the mass which permeates the visible universe. Most of the observed mass is accounted for by the strong interactions which bind quarks into protons and neutrons. How does that exactly happen in its quantitative details is still an unsolved mystery. Lattice formulation of quantum chromodynamics (QCD) or continuum studies of its Schwinger-Dyson equations (SDEs) are two of the non-perturbative means to try to unravel how quarks, starting from negligible current masses can acquire enormously large constituent masses to account for the observed proton and neutron masses. Analytical studies of SDEs in this context are extremely hard as one has to resort to truncation schemes whose quantitative reliability can be established only after a very careful analysis. Let alone the far more complicated realm of QCD, arriving at reliable truncation schemes in simpler scenarios such as quantum electrodynamics (QED) has also proved to be a hard nut to crack. Along with my colleagues and students, we have been making efforts to understand how the dynamical generation of mass can be understood in a reliable way through SDEs of gauge theories in various contexts such as in arbitrary space-time dimensions $d$ as well as $d \leq 4$, at finite temperatures and in the presence of magnetic fields.


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