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Durham University

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Publication details for Paul Sutcliffe

Elliot-Ripley, M., Sutcliffe, P.M. & Zamaklar, M. (2016). Phases of kinky holographic nuclear matter. Journal of High Energy Physics 2016(10): 088.

Author(s) from Durham


Holographic QCD at finite baryon number density and zero temperature is studied within the five-dimensional Sakai-Sugimoto model. We introduce a new approximation that models a smeared crystal of solitonic baryons by assuming spatial homogeneity to obtain an effective kink theory in the holographic direction. The kink theory correctly reproduces a first order phase transition to lightly bound nuclear matter. As the density is further increased the kink splits into a pair of half-kink constituents, providing a concrete realization of the previously suggested dyonic salt phase, where the bulk soliton splits into constituents at high density. The kink model also captures the phenomenon of baryonic popcorn, in which a first order phase transition generates an additional soliton layer in the holographic direction. We find that this popcorn transition takes place at a density below the dyonic salt phase, making the latter energetically unfavourable. However, the kink model predicts only one pop, rather than the sequence of pops suggested by previous approximations. In the kink model the two layers produced by the single pop form the surface of a soliton bag that increases in size as the baryon chemical potential is increased. The interior of the bag is filled with abelian electric potential and the instanton charge density is localized on the surface of the bag. The soliton bag may provide a holographic description of a quarkyonic phase.