Investigating and optimizing the chiral properties of lattice fermion actions

Thomas DeGrand, Anna Hasenfratz, Tamás G. Kovács

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

48 Citations (Scopus)


We study exceptional modes of both the Wilson and the clover action in order to understand why quenched clover spectroscopy suffers so severely from exceptional configurations. We show that, in contrast to the case of the Wilson action, a large clover coefficient can make the exceptional modes extremely localized and thus very sensitive to short distance fluctuations. We describe a way to optimize the chiral behavior of Wilson-type lattice fermion actions by studying their low energy real eigenmodes. We find a candidate action, the clover action with fat links with a tuned clover term. We present a calculation of spectroscopy and matrix elements at Wilson gauge coupling β = 5.7. When compared to simulations with the standard (non-perturbatively improved) clover action at small lattice spacing, the action shows good scaling behavior, with an apparent great reduction in the number of exceptional configurations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-280
Number of pages22
JournalNuclear Physics B
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - May 10 1999


  • Chiral symmetry
  • Fermions
  • Improvement
  • Lattice gauge theories

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics

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