Inverse magnetic catalysis in dense holographic matter
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- Preis, F., Rebhan, A. & Schmitt, A. J. High Energ. Phys. (2011) 2011: 33. doi:10.1007/JHEP03(2011)033
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We study the chiral phase transition in a magnetic field at finite temperature and chemical potential within the Sakai-Sugimoto model, a holographic top-down approach to (large-Nc) QCD. We consider the limit of a small separation of the flavor D8-branes, which corresponds to a dual field theory comparable to a Nambu-Jona Lasinio (NJL) model. Mapping out the surface of the chiral phase transition in the parameter space of magnetic field strength, quark chemical potential, and temperature, we find that for small temperatures the addition of a magnetic field decreases the critical chemical potential for chiral symmetry restoration — in contrast to the case of vanishing chemical potential where, in accordance with the familiar phenomenon of magnetic catalysis, the magnetic field favors the chirally broken phase. This “inverse magnetic catalysis” (IMC) appears to be associated with a previously found magnetic phase transition within the chirally symmetric phase that shows an intriguing similarity to a transition into the lowest Landau level. We estimate IMC to persist up to 1019 G at low temperatures.