Phase transitions in QCD as metal-insulator transitions
Seminar Room 1, Newton Institute
We investigate in what situations the phenomenon of Anderson localization, originally introduced in condensed matter, may be relevant in the context of QCD. At the chiral phase transition we provide compelling evidence from lattice and phenomenological instanton liquid models that the QCD Dirac operator undergoes a metal - insulator transition similar to the one observed in a disordered conductor. This suggests that Anderson localization plays a fundamental role in the chiral phase transition. Based on a recent relation between the Polyakov loop and the spectral properties of the Dirac operator we discuss how the confinement-deconfinement transition may be related to a metal-insulator transition in the bulk of the spectrum of the Dirac operator.