Introducing the concept of the Widom line in the QCD phase diagram

Giovanni Sordi, A. -M. S. Tremblay

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Critical phenomena emerging from the critical end point of a first-order transition are ubiquitous in nature. Here we bring the concept of a supercritical crossover, the Widom line, initially developed in the context of fluids, into the interacting matter described by quantum chromodynamics (QCD). We show that the existence of the putative critical end point between hadron gas and quark-gluon plasma in the temperature versus chemical potential of the QCD phase diagram implies the existence of a Widom line emerging from it in the supercritical region. We survey the thermodynamic anomalies already identified in simplified theoretical models of QCD exhibiting a critical end point, to show that they can be interpreted in terms of a Widom line. Then we suggest possible directions where the Widom line concept could provide new light on the QCD phase diagram.
Original languageEnglish
Article number114020
Number of pages8
JournalPhysical Review D
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jun 2024

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