Friday, March 29, 2013

1303.7204 (Marco Cristoforetti et al.)

Monte Carlo simulations on the Lefschetz thimble: taming the sign

Marco Cristoforetti, Francesco Di Renzo, Abhishek Mukherjee, Luigi Scorzato
We present the first practical Monte Carlo calculations of the recently proposed Lefschetz thimble formulation of quantum field theories. Our results provide strong evidence that the numerical sign problem that afflicts Monte Carlo calculations of models with complex actions can be softened significantly by changing the domain of integration to the Lefschetz thimble or approximations thereof. We study the interacting complex scalar field theory (relativistic Bose gas) in lattices of size up to 8^4 using a computationally inexpensive approximation of the Lefschetz thimble. Our results are in excellent agreement with known results. We show that - at least in the case of the relativistic Bose gas - the thimble can be systematically approached and the remaining residual phase leads to a much more tractable sign problem (if at all) than the original formulation. This is especially encouraging in view of the wide applicability - in principle - of our method to quantum field theories with a sign problem. We believe that this opens up new possibilities for accurate Monte Carlo calculations in strongly interacting systems of sizes much larger that previously possible.
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