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Phases of cold holographic QCD: Baryons, pions and rho mesons

Nicolas Kovensky, Aaron Poole, Andreas Schmitt

SciPost Phys. 15, 162 (2023) · published 13 October 2023


We improve the holographic description of isospin-asymmetric baryonic matter within the Witten-Sakai-Sugimoto model by accounting for a realistic pion mass, computing the pion condensate dynamically, and including rho meson condensation by allowing the gauge field in the bulk to be anisotropic. This description takes into account the coexistence of baryonic matter with pion and rho meson condensates. Our main result is the zero-temperature phase diagram in the plane of baryon and isospin chemical potentials. We find that the effective pion mass in the baryonic medium increases with baryon density and that, as a consequence, there is no pion condensation in neutron-star matter. Our improved description also predicts that baryons are disfavored at low baryon chemical potentials even for arbitrarily large isospin chemical potential. Instead, rho meson condensation sets in on top of the pion condensate at an isospin chemical potential of about $9.4 m_\pi$. We further observe a highly non-monotonic phase boundary regarding the disappearance of pion condensation.

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