Scaling studies of QCD with the dynamical highly improved staggered quark action

A. Bazavov, C. Bernard, C. Detar, W. Freeman, Steven Gottlieb, U. M. Heller, J. E. Hetrick, J. Laiho, L. Levkova, M. Oktay, J. Osborn, R. L. Sugar, D. Toussaint, R. S. Van De Water

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176 Scopus citations


We study the lattice spacing dependence, or scaling, of physical quantities using the highly improved staggered quark (HISQ) action introduced by the HPQCD/UKQCD Collaboration, comparing our results to similar simulations with the asqtad fermion action. Results are based on calculations with lattice spacings approximately 0.15, 0.12, and 0.09 fm, using four flavors of dynamical HISQ quarks. The strange and charm quark masses are near their physical values, and the light-quark mass is set to 0.2 times the strange-quark mass. We look at the lattice spacing dependence of hadron masses, pseudoscalar meson decay constants, and the topological susceptibility. In addition to the commonly used determination of the lattice spacing through the static quark potential, we examine a determination proposed by the HPQCD Collaboration that uses the decay constant of a fictitious "unmixed ss̄" pseudoscalar meson. We find that the lattice artifacts in the HISQ simulations are much smaller than those in the asqtad simulations at the same lattice spacings and quark masses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number074501
JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 5 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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