On the order of the QCD chiral phase transition for different numbers of quark flavours

  • The nature of the QCD chiral phase transition in the limit of vanishing quark masses has remained elusive for a long time, since it cannot be simulated directly on the lattice and is strongly cutoff-dependent. We report on a comprehensive ongoing study using unimproved staggered fermions with Nf ∈ [2, 8] mass-degenerate flavours on Nτ ∈ {4, 6, 8} lattices, in which we locate the chiral critical surface separating regions with first-order transitions from crossover regions in the bare parameter space of the lattice theory. Employing the fact that it terminates in a tricritical line, this surface can be extrapolated to the chiral limit using tricritical scaling with known exponents. Knowing the order of the transitions in the lattice parameter space, conclusions for approaching the continuum chiral limit in the proper order can be drawn. While a narrow first-order region cannot be ruled out, we find initial evidence consistent with a second-order chiral transition in all massless theories with Nf ≤ 6, and possibly up to the onset of the conformal window at 9 ≲ N∗f ≲ 12. A reanalysis of already published O(a)-improved Nf = 3 Wilson data on Nτ ∈ [4, 12] is also consistent with tricritical scaling, and the associated change from first to second-order on the way to the continuum chiral limit. We discuss a modified Columbia plot and a phase diagram for many-flavour QCD that reflect these possible features.

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Author:Francesca CuteriORCiD, Owe PhilipsenORCiDGND, Alessandro SciarraORCiD
Parent Title (English):Journal of high energy physics
Place of publication:Berlin ; Heidelberg
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2021/11/18
Date of first Publication:2021/11/18
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2022/10/05
Tag:Lattice QCD; Lattice Quantum Field Theory; Phase Diagram of QCD
Page Number:32
Institutes:Physik / Physik
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 53 Physik / 530 Physik
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0