We present a pedagogical overview of the nonperturbative mechanism that endows gluons with a dynamical mass. This analysis is performed based on pure Yang-Mills theories in the Landau gauge, within the theoretical framework that emerges from the combination of the pinch technique with the background field method. In particular, we concentrate on the Schwinger-Dyson equation satisfied by the gluon propagator and examine the necessary conditions for obtaining finite solutions within the infrared region. The role of seagull diagrams receives particular attention, as do the identities that enforce the cancellation of all potential quadratic divergences. We stress the necessity of introducing nonperturbative massless poles in the fully dressed vertices of the theory in order to trigger the Schwinger mechanism, and explain in detail the instrumental role of these poles in maintaining the Becchi-Rouet-Stora-Tyutin symmetry at every step of the mass-generating procedure. The dynamical equation governing the evolution of the gluon mass is derived, and its solutions are determined numerically following implementation of a set of simplifying assumptions. The obtained mass function is positive definite, and exhibits a power law running that is consistent with general arguments based on the operator product expansion in the ultraviolet region. A possible connection between confinement and the presence of an inflection point in the gluon propagator is briefly discussed.
Date of publication:
Front.Phys.(Beijing) 11 (2016) no.2, 111203