Abstract:
Although taste violations significantly affect the results of staggered calculations of pseudoscalar and heavy-light mesonic quantities, those entering staggered calculations of baryonic quantities have not been quantified. Here I develop staggered chiral perturbation theory in the light-quark baryon sector by mapping the Symanzik action into heavy baryon chiral perturbation theory. For 2+1 dynamical quark flavors, the masses of flavor-symmetric nucleons are calculated to third order in partially quenched and fully dynamical staggered chiral perturbation theory. To this order the expansion includes the leading chiral logarithms, which come from loops with virtual decuplet-like states, as well as terms the order of the cubed pion mass, which come from loops with virtual octet-like states. Taste violations enter through the meson propagators in loops and tree-level terms the order of the squared lattice spacing. The pattern of taste symmetry breaking and the resulting degeneracies and mixings are discussed in detail. The resulting chiral forms are appropriate to lattice results obtained with operators already in use and could be used to study the restoration of taste symmetry in the continuum limit. I assume that the fourth root of the fermion determinant can be incorporated in staggered chiral perturbation theory using the replica method.

Abstract:
We discuss how to formulate a staggered chiral perturbation theory. This amounts to a generalization of the Lee-Sharpe Lagrangian to include more than one flavor (i.e. multiple staggered fields), which turns out to be nontrivial. One loop corrections to pion and kaon masses and decay constants are computed as examples in three cases: the quenched, partially quenched, and full (unquenched) case. The results for the one loop mass and decay constant corrections have already been presented in Ref. [1].

Abstract:
Motivated by simulation results for octet and decuplet baryon masses using 2+1 flavors of light staggered quarks, we are incorporating staggered lattice artifacts into heavy baryon chiral perturbation theory, calculating the masses of various staggered baryons, and studying the connection between the staggered baryons of the chiral theory and the staggered baryons of simulations. We present order (m_q)^(3/2) loop contributions to the masses of several staggered nucleons and discuss interpolating fields that create these states.

Abstract:
With sufficiently light up and down quarks the isovector ($a_0$) and isosinglet ($f_0$) scalar meson propagators are dominated at large distance by two-meson states. In the staggered fermion formulation of lattice quantum chromodynamics, taste-symmetry breaking causes a proliferation of two-meson states that further complicates the analysis of these channels. Many of them are unphysical artifacts of the lattice approximation. They are expected to disappear in the continuum limit. The staggered-fermion fourth-root procedure has its purported counterpart in rooted staggered chiral perturbation theory (rSXPT). Fortunately, the rooted theory provides a strict framework that permits the analysis of scalar meson correlators in terms of only a small number of low energy couplings. Thus the analysis of the point-to-point scalar meson correlators in this context gives a useful consistency check of the fourth-root procedure and its proposed chiral realization. Through numerical simulation we have measured correlators for both the $a_0$ and $f_0$ channels in the ``Asqtad'' improved staggered fermion formulation in a lattice ensemble with lattice spacing $a = 0.12$ fm. We analyze those correlators in the context of rSXPT and obtain values of the low energy chiral couplings that are reasonably consistent with previous determinations.

Abstract:
In a continuation of an ongoing program, we use staggered chiral perturbation theory to calculate the one-loop chiral logarithms and analytic terms in the pseudoscalar meson leptonic decay constants, $f_{\pi^+_5}$ and $f_{K^+_5}$. We consider the partially quenched, ``full QCD'' (with three dynamical flavors), and quenched cases.

Abstract:
An unquenched calculation of the form factor for $B\to D^* l \nu$ is needed to improve the determination of $|V_{cb}|$. The MILC lattices, computed with a 2+1 improved staggered action for the light quarks, are well suited to this purpose. The relevant staggered chiral perturbation theory (SChPT) must be known in order to correctly account for the "taste" breaking discretization effects associated with the staggered quarks to NLO in $1/ m_{D^*}$. This SChPT calculation is presented.

Abstract:
To reduce errors in light-quark mass determinations, it is now necessary to consider electromagnetic contributions to light-meson masses. Calculations using staggered quarks and quenched photons are currently underway. Suitably-extended chiral perturbation theory is necessary to extrapolate the lattice data to the physical limit. Here we give (preliminary) results for light-meson masses using staggered chiral perturbation theory including electromagnetism, and discuss the extent to which quenched-photon simulations can improve quark-mass calculations.

Abstract:
The topological susceptibility of the vacuum in quantum chromodynamics has been simulated numerically using the Asqtad improved staggered fermion formalism. At nonzero lattice spacing the residual fermion doublers (fermion ``tastes'') in the staggered fermion formalism give contributions to the susceptibility that deviate from conventional continuum chiral perturbation theory. In this brief report we estimate the taste-breaking artifact and compare it with results of recent simulations, finding that it accounts for roughly half of the scaling violation.

Abstract:
I describe a calculation of B meson mixing at one-loop in staggered chiral perturbation theory, for the complete set of Standard Model and beyond-the-Standard Model operators. The particular lattice representation of the continuum operators used by the Fermilab Lattice/MILC collaborations (and earlier by the HPQCD collaboration) turns out to be important, and results in the presence of "wrong-spin" operators, whose contributions however vanish in the continuum limit. The relation between staggered and naive fermions also plays a key role.

Abstract:
I calculate, at one loop in staggered chiral perturbation theory, the matrix elements of the complete set of five local operators that may contribute to B mixing both in the Standard Model and in beyond-the-Standard-Model theories. Lattice computations of these matrix elements by the Fermilab Lattice/MILC collaborations (and earlier by the HPQCD collaboration) convert a light staggered quark into a naive quark, and construct the relevant 4-quark operators as local products of two local bilinears, each involving the naive light quark and the heavy quark. This particular representation of the operators turns out to be important in the chiral calculation, and it results in the presence of "wrong-spin" operators, whose contributions however vanish in the continuum limit. If the matrix elements of all five operators are computed on the lattice, then no additional low energy constants are required to describe wrong-spin chiral effects.