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A QCD critical point at small chemical potential: is it there or not?

Presenter: Philippe de Forcrand — ETH

Philippe de Forcrand, Seyong Kim and Owe Philipsen

It is commonly believed that the crossover observed in QCD between the confined and deconfined regimes as a function of temperature turns into a genuine phase transition for a critical value of the chemical potential cT, and that this critical chemical potential can be reduced to zero by reducing the quark mass, to a value mc. To test this scenario, we address the question: does an infinitesimal chemical potential shift the critical quark mass mc to smaller or larger values, i.e. does it strengthen or weaken the =0 transition? We answer this question by simulations of 3-flavor QCD, using improved numerical techniques which we test on a Potts model.