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Using a nonlocal version of the Polyakov-loop-extended Nambu-Jona-Lasinio model, we investigate effects of a nonderivative vector-current interaction (relating to the quark-number density) at both real and imaginary chemical potentials. This repulsive vector interaction between quarks has the following impact on the chiral first-order phase transition: at imaginary chemical potential it sharpens the transition at the Roberge-Weiss (RW) end point and moves this critical point toward lower temperatures; at real chemical potential, the critical end point moves on a trajectory towards larger chemical potentials and lower temperatures with increasing vector coupling strength. The conditions are discussed at which the first-order phase transition disappears and turns into a smooth crossover.

Exploring the phase diagram of quantum chromo-dynamics (QCD) at finite temperature and real chemical potential is one of the most interesting and important subjects in particle and nuclear physics. Lattice-QCD (LQCD) simulations are a powerful method to investigate the QCD thermodynamics at zero chemical potential. At finite chemical potential, however, LQCD suffers from the so-called sign problem which restricts the applicability of LQCD to the region of small real chemical potential and high temperatures (see Ref. [

A promising strategy for studying the QCD phase diagram at finite is the imaginary-chemical-potential matching approach [

Here, is the canonical partition function with real quark numbers (N_{q}). Moreover, QCD possesses the so-called Roberge-Weiss (RW) periodicity [

with integer, where is the Polyakov loop and its conjugate. The RW periodicity enables us to determine which interactions are relevant and how strong the couplings are by comparing model results with LQCD data at finite. Note, that can be absorbed in the boundary angle of the temporal direction of the quark field. From this viewpoint, quarks are fermions at and these become boson-like at . Therefore, the dual quark condensate was proposed [

At another characteristic property of QCD, the so-called RW transition, arises: this RW transition can be related to charge-conjugation or symmetry breaking [

The Polyakov-loop-extended Nambu-Jona-Lasinio (PNJL) model is a promising approach as it preserves the RW periodicity in the same way as QCD. In the present study we extend the nonlocal version of the two-flavor PNJL model from Refs. [14,15] by introducing a nonderivative vector-current interaction between quarks both at imaginary and real chemical potentials.

This paper is organized as follows: In Section 2 we introduce the nonlocal PNJL model that is used in our calculations. In particular, we describe in detail the treatment of the vector-type interaction in the nonlocal framework. We show how this approach can be extended to imaginary chemical potentials. Section 3 presents the results of our calculations. Section 4 closes this work with a discussion and a summary.

The generic Euclidean action of the two-flavor PNJL model is

where is the two-flavor quark field, denotes the current quark mass, and

is the color gaugecovariant derivative with Gell-Mann matrices

. The gauge coupling is understood to be absorbed in the definition of.

The last term in Equation (3) is the Polyakov-loop-effective potential, multiplied by volume and inverse temperature, and to be specified later. and are the Polyakov loop and its conjugate, respectively.

The nonlocal generalization of the PNJL model is characterized by an interaction featuring nonlocal quark currents and densities, as follows [14-18]:

The chiral (scalar and pseudoscalar) densities with involve the operators. The overall coupling strength G of dimension [length]^{2} is chosen sufficiently large so that spontaneous chiral symmetry breaking and pions as Goldstone bosons emerge properly. The term involving the nonlocal quark vector currents has a coupling strength, again of dimension [length]^{2}. This is treated as a parameter in the present work. For orientation, the Fierz transformation of a color-octet current-current interaction (induced, e.g., by gluon exchange) gives (see, e.g., Ref. [

The term involving is an additional vector-type derivative coupling with

together with a scale so that the effective strength of this term in is. In the following, we refer to the interaction induced by simply as a derivative coupling in order to avoid confusion with the nonderivative vector interaction which is called vector-current interaction from here on.

The currents Equations (5)-(7) include nonlocality distributions and. These distributions govern the momentum dependences of the quark mass function and of the renormalization factor that appears in the quark quasi-particle propagator,

[8,15,17]. The Fourier transform of is related to the quasi-particle mass function determined by the self-consistent gap equation,

where is the scalar mean field basically representing the chiral condensate. The Fourier transform

of is, in turn, related to the Z factor of quark wave-function renormalization,

where is the mean field induced by [

The following four-dimensional momentum-space forms of the distribution functions are used in this study:

The running QCD coupling determines the asymptotic form of while its infrared behavior is given by a Gaussian parameterization with a characteristic length scale. The matching of these highand low-momentum representations at an intermediate scale determines the constant. Parameters in both distribution functions are fitted to LQCD data as described in Ref. [

Consider now the (grand-canonical) thermodynamical potential,

where

is the grand-canonical partition function determined by the path integral over the action (3). In the mean-field approximation the fields are replaced by their (thermal) expectation values. After bosonization, the mean-field thermodynamical potential, of the nonlocal PNJL model, including quark wave-function-renormalization corrections, but in the absence of the the vector-current interaction reads

where

Here and are the mean fields associated with the scalar density and the derivative vector current, respectively. The first term on the right-hand side of Equation (15) involves the quark quasi-particle energies

with dynamically generated masses,

, determined self-consistently at each shifted Matsubara frequency with:

are the gauge fields forming the Polyakov loop given in Equation (22). Likewise, the Z factors are understood as. More explicitly:

At finite temperature, the Lorentz invariance is broken by the thermal medium and the inverse quark quasi-particle propagator becomes

with

. Here we assume for simplicity that the difference between and is sufficiently small so that it can be neglected, given that the overall influence of wave-function renormalization on thermodynamical quantities is not very significant.

The introduction of the vector-current interaction leads to the following modifications of the thermodynamical potential (14): first, from the bosonization of Equation (6) a quadratic term involving the vector mean field,

is added to the thermodynamical potential (15); second, the chemical potential is shifted according to

. The vector mean field basically represents the baryon density, , in the form. One important remark is in order: the

-dependence does not appear in the distribution functions because these functions are introduced in the Lagrangian density before taking the mean-field approximation.

In this study, we consider two types of the Polyakov-loop effective potentials. The first one is given in Ref. [

where and are represented as

(22)

The other one is proposed in Ref. [

(24)

This latter form is obtained from the knowledge of the strong-coupling limit of QCD. Recently the details have been investigated in Ref. [22,23]. The nonlocal PNJL model with potential (21) is henceforth denoted as model A and that with potential (24) as model B.

It is convenient to introduce a modified Polyakov-loop and its conjugate as

as these are RW-periodic quantities. The real and imaginary parts of serve as order parameters of the deconfinement transition and spontaneous -symmetry breaking because is a -odd quantity, just like the quark number density. We use as the order parameter of -symmetry breaking. As mentioned in the introduction, this -odd quantity serves as an exact order parameter at because there -symmetry is not explicitly broken.

In the PNJL model the pion mass and its decay constant are used to fix parameters in the NJL sector of the Lagrangian. These parameters are taken from Ref. [

The coefficient functions and in (24) are parameterized such as to reproduce pure-gaugeLQCD results (Refs. [15,16]). When we use T_{0} = 270 MeV for the confinement-deconfinement transition temperature in the pure-gauge case, the resulting crossover transition temperature when including quarks in the PNJL model is slightly higher than the LQCD prediction. Alternatively, we also use in order to reproduce, as suggested in Ref. [

The parameter in (24) is fitted to reproduce the critical temperature in the pure gauge limit and its value is a = 664 MeV. The remaining parameter is defined to reproduce the pseudo-critical temperature with dynamical quarks. To reproduce from the two-flavor LQCD data, we take.

In the previous figures we have ignored the vectorcurrent interaction. As a consequence, the ratio exceeds the LQCD prediction [4,7]. Choosing G_{v} = 0.4 G in model A with T_{0} = 240 MeV, this ratio becomes [_{v} = 0.4 G and b = 0.01 leads to. These values are close to the LQCD result.

Finally, we study the -dependence of the position of these critical point in the phase diagram. In

and, respectively. In the local PNJL model, the critical end point disappears or shifts to very small when considering a realistic range for the vector coupling strength. In the nonlocal PNJL model, the location of the critical point has a less pronounced dependence on temperature, at least for small. This behavior can be traced to the weakening of the NJL interaction by the nonlocality distribution. The downward trajectory of the critical point becomes very steep, however, once reaches values of 0.4 and beyond (see

In this study we have investigated the impact of a (nonderivative) vector-current interaction in the nonlocal PNJL model at real and imaginary chemical potentials. The presence of the vector-current interaction makes the transition at the Roberge-Weiss end point more pronounced. The RW end point becomes first-order, consistent with recent LQCD simulations.

The location of the critical point in the phase diagram for real chemical potentials is highly sensitive to the vector coupling strength. In the nonlocal PNJL model used here, the critical point tends to be eliminated in favor of a continuous crossover once the ratio of vectorto-scalar couplings is increased toward and beyond, the value characteristic of an effective gluon-exchange interaction between quarks. Qualitatively similar tendencies are found in recent related work [

K. K. thanks H. Kouno and M. Yahiro for fruitful discussions. K. K. is supported by RIKEN Special Postdoctoral Researchers Program. T. H. acknowledges the kind hospitality at Brookhaven National Laboratory during his stay. This work is supported in part by BMBF, by the Excellence Cluster “Origin and Structure of the Universe”, and by DFG and NSFC through CRC 110.