Living with spontaneously broken BRST symmetry. I. Physical states and cohomology

Martin Schaden, Daniel Zwanziger

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    We address the issue of Becchi-Rouet-Stora-Tyutin (BRST) symmetry breaking in the Gribov-Zwanziger (GZ) model, a local, renormalizable, nonperturbative approach to QCD. Explicit calculation of several examples reveals that BRST symmetry breaking apparently afflicts the unphysical sector of the theory, but may be unbroken where needed, in cases of physical interest. Specifically, the BRST-exact part of the conserved energy-momentum tensor and the BRST-exact term in the Kugo-Ojima confinement condition both have a vanishing expectation value. We analyze the origin of the breaking of BRST symmetry in the GZ model and obtain a useful sufficient condition that determines which operators preserve BRST. Observables of the GZ theory are required to be invariant under a certain group of symmetries that includes not only BRST but also others. The definition of observables is thereby sharpened and excludes all operators known to us that break BRST invariance. We take as a hypothesis that BRST symmetry is unbroken by this class of observables. If the hypothesis holds, BRST breaking is relegated to the unphysical sector of the GZ theory, and its physical states are obtained by the usual cohomological BRST construction. The fact that the horizon condition and the Kugo-Ojima confinement criterion coincide assures that color is confined in the GZ theory.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article number025001
    JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Jul 1 2015

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
    • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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