Complex heavy-quark potential at finite temperature from lattice QCD

Alexander Rothkopf, Tetsuo Hatsuda, Shoichi Sasaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

162 Citations (Scopus)


We calculate for the first time the complex potential between a heavy quark and antiquark at finite temperature across the deconfinement transition in lattice QCD. The real and imaginary part of the potential at each separation distance r is obtained from the spectral function of the thermal Wilson loop. We confirm the existence of an imaginary part above the critical temperature T C, which grows as a function of r and underscores the importance of collisions with the gluonic environment for the melting of heavy quarkonia in the quark-gluon plasma.

Original languageEnglish
Article number162001
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Apr 18


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