Color-flavor locking and chiral symmetry breaking in high density QCD

Mark Alford, Krishna Rajagopal, Frank Wilczek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1064 Scopus citations


We propose a symmetry breaking scheme for QCD with three massless quarks at high baryon density wherein the color and flavor SU(3)colorXSU(3)LXSU(3)R symmetries are broken down to the diagonal subgroup SU(3)color+L+R by the formation of a condensate of quark Cooper pairs. We discuss general properties that follow from this hypothesis, including the existence of gaps for quark and gluon excitations, the existence of Nambu-Goldstone bosons which are excitations of the diquark condensate, and the existence of a modified electromagnetic gauge interaction which is unbroken and which assigns integral charge to the elementary excitations. We present mean-field results for a Hamiltonian in which the interaction between quarks is modeled by that induced by single-gluon exchange. We find gaps of order 10-100 MeV for plausible values of the coupling. We discuss the effects of non-zero temperature, non-zero quark masses and instanton-induced interactions on ourresults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)443-458
Number of pages16
JournalNuclear Physics B
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Jan 4 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Density
  • QCD
  • Superconductivity
  • Symmetry breaking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


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