We report on a study of QCD thermodynamics with three flavors of quarks, using a Symanzik improved gauge action and the Asqtad O(a<sup>2</sup>) improved staggered quark action. Simulations were carried out with lattice spacings 1/4T, 1/6T, and 1/8T both for three degenerate quarks with masses less than or equal to the strange quark mass m<inf>s</inf> and for degenerate up and down quarks with masses in the range 0.1m<inf>s</inf> ≤ m<inf>u,d</inf> ≤ 0.6m <inf>s</inf> and the strange quark mass fixed near its physical value. We present results for standard thermodynamics quantities, such as the Polyakov loop, the chiral order parameter and its susceptibility. For the quark masses studied to date we find a rapid crossover rather than a bona fide phase transition. We have carried out the first calculations of quark number susceptibilities with three flavors of sea quarks. These quantities are of physical interest because they are related to event-by-event fluctuations in heavy ion collision experiments. Comparison of susceptibilities at different lattice spacings show that our results are close to the continuum values.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology|
|Publication status||Published - 2005|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics
- Mathematical Physics