Pseudo-scalar meson spectral properties in the chiral crossover region of QCD

Dibyendu Bala, Olaf Kaczmarek, Peter Lowdon, Owe Philipsen, Tristan Ueding
High Energy Physics - Lattice, High Energy Physics - Lattice (hep-lat), High Energy Physics - Phenomenology (hep-ph), High Energy Physics - Theory (hep-th), Nuclear Theory (nucl-th)
2023-10-19 16:00:00
Determining the type of excitations that can exist in a thermal medium is key to understanding how hadronic matter behaves at extreme temperatures. In this work we study this question for pseudo-scalar mesons comprised of light-strange and strange-strange quarks, analysing how their low-energy spectral properties are modified as one passes through the high-temperature chiral crossover region between $T=145.6 \, \text{MeV}$ and $172.3 \, \text{MeV}$. We utilise the non-perturbative constraints satisfied by correlation functions at finite temperature in order to extract the low-energy meson spectral function contributions from spatial correlator lattice data in $N_{f}=2+1$ flavour QCD. The robustness of these contributions are tested by comparing their predictions with data for the corresponding temporal correlator at different momentum values. We find that around the pseudo-critical temperature $T_{\text{pc}}$ the data in both the light-strange and strange-strange channels is consistent with the presence of a distinct stable particle-like ground state component, a so-called thermoparticle excitation. As the temperature increases this excitation undergoes collisional broadening, and this is qualitatively the same in both channels. These findings suggest that pseudo-scalar mesons in QCD have a bound-state-like structure at low energies within the chiral crossover region which is still strongly influenced by the vacuum states of the theory.
PDF: Pseudo-scalar meson spectral properties in the chiral crossover region of QCD.pdf
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