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In quantum physics, in order to quantize a gauge theory, for example the Yang–Mills theory, Chern–Simons theory or the BF model, one method is to perform gauge fixing. This is done in the BRST and Batalin-Vilkovisky formulation.
Another method is to factor out the symmetry by dispensing with vector potentials altogether (since they are not physically observable) and by working directly with Wilson loops, Wilson lines contracted with other charged fields at its endpoints and spin networks.
Older approaches to quantization for Abelian models use the Gupta-Bleuler formalism with a "semi-Hilbert space" with an indefinite sesquilinear form. However, it is much more elegant[clarification needed] to work with the quotient space of vector field configurations by gauge transformations.
Quantum Yang–Mills theory
A positive estimate from below of the mass gap in the spectrum of quantum Yang-Mills Hamiltonian has been already established.
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