High Energy Theory Group Meeting: Holographic Quarkyonic Matter
Nicolas Kovensky, Southampton
In this talk, I will discuss recent developments on the phase structure of the Witten-Sakai-Sugimoto model (focusing on a particular limit). I will present a novel configuration, allowing for baryons in the pointlike approximation to coexist with fundamental quarks. The resulting phase is a holographic realization of quarkyonic matter, which is predicted to occur in QCD at a large number of colors, and possibly plays a role in real-world QCD as well. I will show that, in this model, quarkyonic matter is chirally symmetric and that, for large baryon chemical potentials, it is energetically preferred over pure nuclear matter and over pure quark matter. I will also discuss the evolution of the phase diagram as the current quark mass is introduced. The zero-temperature transition from nuclear matter to the quarkyonic phase is of first order in the chiral limit and for a realistic pion mass. Interestingly, the presence of the quark mass stabilizes a configuration with string sources, which plays an important role in the phase diagram, generating new critical points. Moreover, for large pion masses a quark-hadron continuity emerges due to the presence of quarkyonic matter.