The axial anomaly and the phases of dense QCD

Gordon Baym, Tetsuo Hatsuda, Motoi Tachibana, Naoki Yamamoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


The QCD axial anomaly, by coupling the chiral condensate and BCS pairing fields of quarks in dense matter, leads to a new critical point in the QCD phase diagram [1, 2], which at sufficiently low temperature may terminate the line of phase transitions between chirally broken hadronic matter and color superconducting quark matter. The critical point indicates that matter at low temperature should cross over smoothly from the hadronic to the quark phase, as suggested earlier on the basis of symmetry. We review here the arguments, based on a general Ginzburg-Landau effective Lagrangian, for the existence of the new critical point as well as discuss possible connections between the QCD phase structure and the BEC-BCS crossover in ultracold trapped atomic fermion systems at unitarity and implications for the presence of quark matter in neutron stars.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104021
JournalJournal of Physics G: Nuclear and Particle Physics
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Oct 1
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


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