Friday, January 25, 2013

1301.5855 (A. Bazavov et al.)

Leptonic decay-constant ratio f_{K^+}/f_{pi^+} from lattice QCD with
physical light quarks

A. Bazavov, C. Bernard, C. DeTar, J. Foley, W. Freeman, Steven Gottlieb, U. M. Heller, J. E. Hetrick, J. Kim, J. Laiho, L. Levkova, M. Lightman, J. Osborn, S. Qiu, R. L. Sugar, D. Toussaint, R. S. Van de Water, R. Zhou
A calculation of the ratio of leptonic decay constants f_{K^+}/f_{\pi^+} makes possible a precise determination of the ratio of CKM matrix elements |V_{ud}|/|V_{us}| in the Standard Model, and places a stringent constraint on the scale of new physics that would lead to deviations from unitarity in the first row of the CKM matrix. We compute f_{K^+}/f_{\pi^+} numerically in unquenched lattice QCD using gauge-field ensembles recently generated that include four flavors of dynamical quarks: up, down, strange, and charm. We analyze data at four lattice spacings a ~ 0.06, 0.09, 0.12, and 0.15 fm with simulated pion masses down to the physical value 135 MeV. We obtain f_{K^+}/f_{\pi^+} = 1.1970 (29)(57), where the errors are statistical and total systematic, respectively. This is the first physics result from our N_f = 2+1+1 ensembles, and the first calculation of f_{K^+}/f_{\pi^+} from lattice-QCD simulations at the physical point. Our result is the most precise lattice-QCD determination of f_{K^+}/f_{\pi^+}, with an error comparable to the current world average. When combined with experimental measurements of the leptonic branching fractions, it leads to a precise determination of |V_{ud}|/|V_{us}| = 0.2304(12)(4) where the errors are theoretical and experimental, respectively.
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