Breakdown of staggered fermions at nonzero chemical potential

Maarten Golterman*, Yigal Shamir, Benjamin Svetitsky

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The staggered-fermion determinant is complex when the quark chemical potential μ is nonzero. Its fourth root, used in simulations with dynamical fermions, will have phase ambiguities that become acute when Reμ is sufficiently large. We show how to resolve these ambiguities, but our prescription only works very close to the continuum limit. We argue that this regime is far from current capabilities. Other procedures require being even closer to the continuum limit, or fail altogether, because of unphysical discontinuities in the measure. At zero temperature the breakdown is expected when Reμmπ/2, where mπ is the pion mass. Estimates of the location of the breakdown at nonzero temperature are less certain.

Original languageEnglish
Article number071501
JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2006


Dive into the research topics of 'Breakdown of staggered fermions at nonzero chemical potential'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this