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Mass gap, topological molecules, and strong gauge dynamics

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Mass, a concept familiar to all of us, is also
one of the deepest

mysteries in nature.  Almost all of the mass in the
visible universe,

you, me and any other stuff  that we see around us, emerges from a

quantum field theory, called QCD, which  has a completely negligible

microscopic mass content. How does QCD and the family of

theories it belongs to  generate a mass?

This class of non-perturbative problems remained largely elusive despite much

effort over the years. Recently, new ideas based on compactification have been

shown useful to address some of these. Two such inter-related ideas are circle

compactifications, which avoid  phase transitions and  large-N volume

independence. Through the first one, we realized the existence of a

large-class of  "topological molecules", e.g. magnetic bions,

generate mass gap in a class
of compactified gauge theories. The inception of the

second, the idea  of  large-N volume independence is old. The new

progress is the realization of its first working examples. This property
allows us to

map a four dimensional gauge theory (including pure Yang-Mills) to a

at large-N.