Lattice quantum chromodynamics at large isospin density: 6144 pions in a box

TitleLattice quantum chromodynamics at large isospin density: 6144 pions in a box
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsAbbott, R, Detmold, W, Romero-López, F, Davoudi, Z, Illa, M, Parreño, A, Perry, RJ, Shanahan, PE, Wagman, ML
Date Published7/27/2023

We present an algorithm to compute correlation functions for systems with the quantum numbers of many identical mesons from lattice quantum chromodynamics (QCD). The algorithm is numerically stable and allows for the computation of n-pion correlation functions for n∈{1,…,N} using a single N×N matrix decomposition, improving on previous algorithms. We apply the algorithm to calculations of correlation functions with up to 6144 π+s using two ensembles of gauge field configurations generated with quark masses corresponding to a pion mass mπ=170 MeV and spacetime volumes of (4.43×8.8) fm4 and (5.83×11.6) fm4. We also discuss statistical techniques for the analysis of such systems, in which the correlation functions vary over many orders of magnitude. In particular, we observe that the many-pion correlation functions are well approximated by log-normal distributions, allowing the extraction of the energies of these systems. Using these energies, the large-isospin-density, zero-baryon-density region of the QCD phase diagram is explored. A peak is observed in the energy density at an isospin chemical potential μI∼1.5mπ, signalling the transition into a Bose-Einstein condensed phase. The isentropic speed of sound in the medium is seen to exceed the ideal-gas (conformal) limit (c2s≤1/3) over a wide range of chemical potential before falling towards the asymptotic expectation at μI∼15mπ. These, and other thermodynamic observables, indicate that the isospin chemical potential must be large for the system to be well described by an ideal gas or perturbative QCD.