Imaginary chemical potential and finite fermion density on the lattice

Mark Alford, Anton Kapustin, Frank Wilczek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

208 Scopus citations


Standard lattice fermion algorithms run into the well-known sign problem with a real chemical potential. In this paper we investigate the possibility of using an imaginary chemical potential and argue that it has advantages over other methods, particularly for probing the physics at finite temperature as well as density. As a feasibility study, we present numerical results for the partition function of the two-dimensional Hubbard model with an imaginary chemical potential. We also note that systems with a net imbalance of isospin may be simulated using a real chemical potential that couples to (Formula presented) without suffering from the sign problem.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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