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  • Dal Maso, Miikka (Helsingin yliopisto, 2006)
    Atmospheric aerosol particle formation events can be a significant source for tropospheric aerosols and thus influence the radiative properties and cloud cover of the atmosphere. This thesis investigates the analysis of aerosol size distribution data containing particle formation events, describes the methodology of the analysis and presents time series data measured inside the Boreal forest. This thesis presents a methodology to identify regional-scale particle formation, and to derive the basic characteristics such as growth and formation rates. The methodology can also be used to estimate concentration and source rates of the vapour causing particle growth. Particle formation was found to occur frequently in the boreal forest area over areas covering up to hundreds of kilometers. Particle formation rates of boreal events were found to be of the order of 0.01-5 cm^-3 s^-1, while the nucleation rates of 1 nm particles can be a few orders of magnitude higher. The growth rates of over 3 nm sized particles were of the order of a few nanometers per hour. The vapor concentration needed to sustain such growth is of the order of 10^7--10^8 cm^-3, approximately one order of magnitude higher than sulphuric acid concentrations found in the atmosphere. Therefore, one has to assume that other vapours, such as organics, have a key role in growing newborn particles to sizes where they can become climatically active. Formation event occurrence shows a clear annual variation with peaks in summer and autumns. This variation is similar to the variation exhibited the obtained formation rates of particles. The growth rate, on the other hand, reaches its highest values during summer. This difference in the annual behavior, and the fact that no coupling between the growth and formation process could be identified, suggest that these processes might be different ones, and that both are needed for a particle formation burst to be observed.
  • Hutri, Kaisa-Leena (Säteilyturvakeskus (STUK), 2007)
    Olkiluoto Island is situated in the northern Baltic Sea, near the southwestern coast of Finland, and is the proposed location of a spent nuclear fuel repository. This study examined Holocene palaeoseismicity in the Olkiluoto area and in the surrounding sea areas by computer simulations together with acoustic-seismic, sedimentological and dating methods. The most abundant rock type on the island is migmatic mica gneiss, intruded by tonalites, granodiorites and granites. The surrounding Baltic Sea seabed consists of Palaeoproterozoic crystalline bedrock, which is to a great extent covered by younger Mesoproterozoic sedimentary rocks. The area contains several ancient deep-seated fracture zones that divide it into bedrock blocks. The response of bedrock at the Olkiluoto site was modelled considering four future ice-age scenarios. Each scenario produced shear displacements of fractures with different times of occurrence and varying recovery rates. Generally, the larger the maximum ice load, the larger were the permanent shear displacements. For a basic case, the maximum shear displacements were a few centimetres at the proposed nuclear waste repository level, at proximately 500 m b.s.l. High-resolution, low-frequency echo-sounding was used to examine the Holocene submarine sedimentary structures and possible direct and indirect indicators of palaeoseismic activity in the northern Baltic Sea. Echo-sounding profiles of Holocene submarine sediments revealed slides and slumps, normal faults, debris flows and turbidite-type structures. The profiles also showed pockmarks and other structures related to gas or groundwater seepages, which might be related to fracture zone activation. Evidence of postglacial reactivation in the study area was derived from the spatial occurrence of some of the structures, especial the faults and the seepages, in the vicinity of some old bedrock fracture zones. Palaeoseismic event(s) (a single or several events) in the Olkiluoto area were dated and the palaeoenvironment was characterized using palaeomagnetic, biostratigraphical and lithostratigraphical methods, enhancing the reliability of the chronology. Combined lithostratigraphy, biostratigraphy and palaeomagnetic stratigraphy revealed an age estimation of 10 650 to 10 200 cal. years BP for the palaeoseismic event(s). All Holocene sediment faults in the northern Baltic Sea occur at the same stratigraphical level, the age of which is estimated at 10 700 cal. years BP (9500 radiocarbon years BP). Their movement is suggested to have been triggered by palaeoseismic event(s) when the Late Weichselian ice sheet was retreating from the site and bedrock stresses were released along the bedrock fracture zones. Since no younger or repeated traces of seismic events were found, it corroborates the suggestion that the major seismic activity occurred within a short time during and after the last deglaciation. The origin of the gas/groundwater seepages remains unclear. Their reflections in the echo-sounding profiles imply that part of the gas is derived from the organic-bearing Litorina and modern gyttja clays. However, at least some of the gas is derived from the bedrock. Additional information could be gained by pore water analysis from the pockmarks. Information on postglacial fault activation and possible gas and/or fluid discharges under high hydraulic heads has relevance in evaluating the safety assessment of a planned spent nuclear fuel repository in the region.
  • Järvinen, Onni (Helsingin yliopisto, 2013)
    Antarctica is a major component in the climate system of the earth, acting as a large heat sink in the energy balance. The climatic conditions of Antarctica maintain the snow and ice cover that blankets almost completely the surface area of the continent. Physical properties of snow readily respond to changing environmental conditions and remote sensing signals are sensitive to these properties. The annual changes in the physical properties of the snow cover, especially in the coastal area, must be taken into account when snow cover and climate models are produced. In situ observations are needed for calibration and validation of these models. The aim of the present study was to examine the annual cycle of the active 10-m surface layer in western Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica. The data were collected along a 300-km-long transect from the coast to the edge of the high plateau during the field campaigns in austral summers 2004-2005, 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 as a part of the Finnish Antarctic Research Programme (FINNARP). The studies were focused on the uppermost part of the ice sheet covering the most recent annual accumulation in the coastal area. The results showed that the present study lakes froze completely during winter and showed similar evolution but the exact timing depended on the location. In January, the general structure of lake Suvivesi was following: two layers, each about 1 m thick, an upper layer with a thin ice layer on top and main body of liquid water, and a lower layer containing slush and hard ice sub-layers. The formation and the depth scale of the present study lakes are determined by the light extinction distance and thermal diffusion coefficient, limiting the growth to less than ~1.5 m in one summer. In Antarctica, the mean spectral diffuse extinction coefficient varied between 0.04 and 0.31 cm-1 (10-20-cm snow layer) and varied only slightly between locations when the grain type was the same. The theoretically calculated average depth where broadband irradiance (400-700-nm band) was 1 % of the downwelling irradiance at the surface, was 50 cm. On the continental ice sheet, the compaction rate of the snowpack was 0.0201 ± 0.02 y-1 and the power spectra revealed a daily cycle, synoptic scale variability (~10 days), and variability in a low-frequency band of 60-120 days at a depth of 54 cm. The investigations of snow patches in Basen nunatak revealed that much more snow was lost in summer 2010-2011 (6.3 mm d-1 water equivalent (w.e.)) than in 2004-2005 (4 mm d-1 w.e.).
  • Wang, Caixin (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    Earth s ice shelves are mainly located in Antarctica. They cover about 44% of the Antarctic coastline and are a salient feature of the continent. Antarctic ice shelf melting (AISM) removes heat from and inputs freshwater into the adjacent Southern Ocean. Although playing an important role in the global climate, AISM is one of the most important components currently absent in the IPCC climate model. In this study, AISM is introduced into a global sea ice-ocean climate model ORCA2-LIM, following the approach of Beckmann and Goosse (2003; BG03) for the thermodynamic interaction between the ice shelf and ocean. This forms the model ORCA2-LIM-ISP (ISP: ice shelf parameterization), in which not only all the major Antarctic ice shelves but also a number of minor ice shelves are included. Using these two models, ORCA2-LIM and ORCA2-LIM-ISP, the impact of addition of AISM and increasing AISM have been investigated. Using the ORCA2-LIM model, numerical experiments are performed to investigate the sensitivity of the polar sea ice cover and the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) transport through Drake Passage (DP) to the variations of three sea ice parameters, namely the thickness of newly formed ice in leads (h0), the compressive strength of ice (P*), and the turning angle in the oceanic boundary layer beneath sea ice (θ). It is found that the magnitudes of h0 and P* have little impact on the seasonal sea ice extent, but lead to large changes in the seasonal sea ice volume. The variation in turning angle has little impact on the sea ice extent and volume in the Arctic but tends to reduce them in the Antarctica when ignored. The magnitude of P* has the least impact on the DP transport, while the other two parameters have much larger influences. Numerical results from ORCA2-LIM and ORCA2-LIM-ISP are analyzed to investigate how the inclusion of AISM affects the representation of the Southern Ocean hydrography. Comparisons with data from the World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE) show that the addition of AISM significantly improves the simulated hydrography. It not only warms and freshens the originally too cold and too saline bottom water (AABW), but also warms and enriches the salinity of the originally too cold and too fresh warm deep water (WDW). Addition of AISM also improves the simulated stratification. The close agreement between the simulation with AISM and the observations suggests that the applied parameterization is an adequate way to include the effect of AISM in a global sea ice-ocean climate model. We also investigate the models capability to represent the sea ice-ocean system in the North Atlantic Ocean and the Arctic regions. Our study shows both models (with and without AISM) can successfully reproduce the main features of the sea ice-ocean system. However, both tend to overestimate the ice flux through the Nares Strait, produce a lower temperature and salinity in the Hudson Bay, Baffin Bay and Davis Strait, and miss the deep convection in the Labrador Sea. These deficiencies are mainly attributed to the artificial enlargement of the Nares Strait in the model. In this study, the impact of increasing AISM on the global sea ice-ocean system is thoroughly investigated. This provides a first idea regarding changes induced by increasing AISM. It is shown that the impact of increasing AISM is global and most significant in the Southern Ocean. There, increasing AISM tends to freshen the surface water, to warm the intermediate and deep waters, and to freshen and warm the bottom water. In addition, increasing AISM also leads to changes in the mixed layer depths (MLD) in the deep convection sites in the Southern Ocean, deepening in the Antarctic continental shelf while shoaling in the ACC region. Furthermore, increasing AISM influences the current system in the Southern Ocean. It tends to weaken the ACC, and strengthen the Antarctic coastal current (ACoC) as well as the Weddell Gyre and the Ross Gyre. In addition to the ocean system, increasing AISM also has a notable impact on the Antarctic sea ice cover. Due to the cooling of seawater, sea ice concentration and thickness generally become higher. In austral winter, noticeable increases in sea ice concentration mainly take place near the ice edge. In regards with sea ice thickness, large increases are mainly found along the coast of the Weddell Sea, the Bellingshausen and Amundsen Seas, and the Ross Sea. The overall thickening of sea ice leads to a larger volume of sea ice in Antarctica. In the North Atlantic, increasing AISM leads to remarkable changes in temperature, salinity and density. The water generally becomes warmer, more saline and denser. The most significant warming occurs in the subsurface layer. In contrast, the maximum salinity increase is found at the surface. In addition, the MLD becomes larger along the Greenland-Scotland-Iceland ridge. Global teleconnections due to AISM are studied. The AISM signal is transported with the surface current: the additional freshwater from AISM tends to enhance the northward spreading of the surface water. As a result, more warm and saline water is transported from the tropical region to the North Atlantic Ocean, resulting in warming and salt enrichment there. It would take about 30 40 years to establish a systematic noticeable change in temperature, salinity and MLD in the North Atlantic Ocean according to this study. The changes in hydrography due to increasing AISM are compared with observations. Consistency suggests that increasing AISM is highly likely a major contributor to the recent observed changes in the Southern Ocean. In addition, the AISM might contribute to the salinity contrast between the North Atlantic and North Pacific, which is important for the global thermohaline circulation.
  • Parikka, Kirsti (Helsingin yliopisto, 2007)
    The first synthesis of long chain 5-n-alkylresorcinols (C15-C25) in whole grains and whole grain products by a novel modification of Wittig reaction is described. 5-n-Alkylresorcinols are phenolic lipids that have various effects on biological systems, such as antioxidant activity and interaction with biological membranes. These compounds are considered as biomarkers of whole grain intake, which is connected with reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases and certain cancers. Novel hapten derivatives of 5-n-alkylresorcinols, potential compounds for immunoanalytical techniques, are prepared by the same procedure utilizing microwave catalysed aqueous Wittig reaction as the key step. The synthesised analogues are required by various analytical, metabolism and bioactivity investigations. Four alternative strategies for producing deuterium polylabelled 5-n-alkylresorcinols are explored. Ring-labelled D3-alkylresorcinols were synthesized by acidic H/D exchange. Side chain -labelled D4-derivative was prepared by a total synthesis approach utilizing D2 deuterogenation of a D2-alkene derivative, and deuterogenation of alkynes was investigated in another total synthesis approach. An -D3-labelled alkylresorcinol is isotopically pure and completely stable under all relevant conditions encountered during analytical work. The labelling of another phenolic component of whole grains was explored. The preparation of D3-ferulic acid and related compounds by way of selective methylation of the precursors is described. The deuterated compounds are useful as standards in the quantification of these natural products in various substances, such as food and human fluids. The pure 5-n-alkylresorcinol analogues prepared were used in in vitro experiments on alkylresorcinol antioxidant activity and antigenotoxicity. The in vitro experiments show that alkylresorcinols act as antioxidants, especially when incorporated into biological systems, but possess lower activity in chemical tests (FRAP and DPPH assay). Whole grain alkylresorcinols are shown for the first time to have a protective effect against copper induced oxidation of LDL, and H2O2 or genotoxic faecal water induced damage on HT29 cells.
  • Laitinen, Totti (Helsingin yliopisto, 2013)
    This thesis is based on the construction of a two-step laser desorption-ionization aerosol time-of-flight mass spectrometer (laser AMS), which is capable of measuring 10 to 50 nm aerosol particles collected from urban and rural air at-site and in near real time. The operation and applicability of the instrument was tested with various laboratory measurements, including parallel measurements with filter collection/chromatographic analysis, and then in field experiments in urban environment and boreal forest. Ambient ultrafine aerosol particles are collected on a metal surface by electrostatic precipitation and introduced to the time-of-flight mass spectrometer (TOF-MS) with a sampling valve. Before MS analysis particles are desorbed from the sampling surface with an infrared laser and ionized with a UV laser. The formed ions are guided to the TOF-MS by ion transfer optics, separated according to their m/z ratios, and detected with a micro channel plate detector. The laser AMS was used in urban air studies to quantify the carbon cluster content in 50 nm aerosol particles. Standards for the study were produced from 50 nm graphite particles, suspended in toluene, with 72 hours of high power sonication. The results showed the average amount of carbon clusters (winter 2012, Helsinki, Finland) in 50 nm particles to be 7.2% per sample. Several fullerenes/fullerene fragments were detected during the measurements. In boreal forest measurements, the laser AMS was capable of detecting several different organic species in 10 to 50 nm particles. These included nitrogen-containing compounds, carbon clusters, aromatics, aliphatic hydrocarbons, and oxygenated hydrocarbons. A most interesting event occurred during the boreal forest measurements in spring 2011 when the chemistry of the atmosphere clearly changed during snow melt. On that time concentrations of laser AMS ions m/z 143 and 185 (10 nm particles) increased dramatically. Exactly at the same time, quinoline concentrations in molecular clusters measurements (APi-TOFMS) decreased markedly. With the help of simultaneously collected 30 nm filter samples, laser AMS ions m/z 143 and 185 were later identified as originating from 1-(X-methylquinolin-X-yl)ethanone.
  • Pesonen, Janne (Helsingin yliopisto, 2001)
  • Bućko, Michał (Helsingin yliopisto, 2012)
    Road traffic is at present one of the major sources of environmental pollution in urban areas. Magnetic particles, heavy metals and others compounds generated by traffic can greatly affect ambient air quality and have direct implications for human health. The general aim of this research was to identify and characterize magnetic vehicle-derived particulates using magnetic, geochemical and micro-morphological methods. A combination of three different methods was used to discriminate sources of particular anthropogenic particles. Special emphasis was placed on the application of various collectors (roadside soil, snow, lichens and moss bags) to monitor spatial and temporal distribution of traffic pollution on roadsides. The spatial distribution of magnetic parameters of road dust accumulated in roadside soil, snow, lichens and moss bags indicates that the highest concentration of magnetic particles is in the sampling points situated closest to the road edge. The concentration of magnetic particles decreases with increasing distance from the road indicating vehicle traffic as a major source of emission. Significant differences in horizontal distribution of magnetic susceptibility were observed between soil and snow. Magnetic particles derived from road traffic deposit on soil within a few meters from the road, but on snow up to 60 m from the road. The values of magnetic susceptibility of road dust deposited near busy urban motorway are significantly higher than in the case of low traffic road. These differences are attributed to traffic volume, which is 30 times higher on motorway than on local road. Moss bags placed at the edge of urban parks situated near major roads show higher values of magnetic susceptibility than moss bags from parks located near minor routes. Enhanced concentrations of heavy metals (e.g. Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu, Cr, Ni and Co) were observed in the studied samples. This may be associated with specific sources of vehicle emissions (e.g. exhaust and non-exhaust emissions) and/or grain size of the accumulated particles (large active surface of ultrafine particles). Significant correlations were found between magnetic susceptibility and the concentration of selected heavy metals in the case of moss bags exposed to road traffic. Low-coercivity magnetite was identified as a major magnetic phase in all studied roadside collectors (soil, snow, moss bags and lichens). However, magnetic minerals such as titanomagnetite, ilmenite, pyrite and pyrrhotite were also observed in the studied samples. The identified magnetite particles are mostly pseudo-single-domain (PSD) with a predominant MD fraction (>10 μm). The ultrafine iron oxides (>10 nm) were found in road dust extracted from roadside snow. Large magnetic particles mostly originate from non-exhaust emissions, while ultrafine particles originate from exhaust emissions. The examined road dust contains two types of anthropogenic particles: (1) angular/aggregate particles composed of various elements (diameter ~1-300 µm); (2) spherules (~1-100 µm) mostly composed of iron. The first type of particles originates from non-exhaust emissions such as the abrasion of vehicle components, road surface and winter road maintenance. The spherule-shaped particles are products of combustion processes e.g. combustion of coal in nearby power plants and/or fuel in vehicle engines. This thesis demonstrates that snow is an efficient collector of anthropogenic particles, since it can accumulate and preserve the pollutants for several months (until the late stages of melting). Furthermore, it provides more information about spatial and temporal distribution of traffic-generated magnetic particles than soil. Since the interpretation of data obtained from magnetic measurements of soil is problematic (due to its complexity), this suggests the application of alternative collectors of anthropogenic magnetic particulates (e.g. snow and moss bags). Moss bags and lichens are well suited for magnetic biomonitoring studies, since they effectively accumulate atmospheric pollution and can thus be applied to monitor the spatio-temporal distribution of pollution effects.
  • Välimäki, Niko (Helsingin yliopisto, 2012)
    Recent advancements in the field of compressed data structures create interesting opportunities for interdisciplinary research and applications. Compressed data structures provide essentially a time--space tradeoff for solving a problem; while traditional data structures use extra space in addition to the input, compressed data structures replace the input and require space proportional to the compressed size of the input. The amount of available memory is often fixed, thus, the user might be willing to spend more time if it allows the use of larger inputs. However, despite the potential behind compressed data structures, they have not quite reached the audience of other disciplines. We study how to take advantage of compressed data structures in the fields of bioinformatics, data analysis and information retrieval. We present several novel applications for compressed data structures and include an experimental evaluation of the time--space tradeoffs achieved. More precisely, we propose (i) a space-efficient string mining algorithm to recognise substrings that admit the given frequency constraints, (ii) both theoretical and practical methods for computing approximate overlaps between all string pairs, (iii) a practical path-based graph kernel for predicting the function of unknown enzymatic reactions, and (iv) a compressed XML index that supports efficient XPath queries on both the tree-structure and textual content of XML documents. Problem (i) is motivated by knowledge discovery in databases, where the goal is to extract emerging substrings that discriminate two (or more) databases. Problem (ii) is one of the first phases in a sequence assembly pipeline and requires efficient algorithms due to the new high-throughput sequencing systems. Problem (iii) is motivated by machine learning, where kernels are used to measure the similarity of complex objects. Problem (iv) has its background in information retrieval. The proposed methods achieve theoretical and practical improvements over the earlier state of the art. To raise the overall awareness of compressed data structures, our results have been published in interdisciplinary forums, including conferences and journals from the fields of bioinformatics, data engineering and data mining.
  • Zahabi, Seyedali (Helsingin yliopisto, 2013)
    This thesis investigates different aspects of conformal field theory and string theory and their applications in statistical properties of systems. First, we study the free fermions in planar Ising model and its scaling limit at criticality. On the one hand, we examine the relation between the transfer matrix formalism and discrete holomorphicity. We show that the fermion operators of the Ising model satisfy a complexification of the defining relations of s-holomorphicity, a strong notion of discrete holomorphicity, and examples of fermion correlation functions are shown to reproduce s-holomorphic parafermionic observables. On the other hand, we study the relation between fermionic conformal field theory and Schramm Loewner evolution by focusing on the interfaces and fermionic correlation functions of the Ising model. We demonstrate an explicit, rigorous realization of the CFT/SLE correspondence in the case of Ising model. Second, we develop a statistical framework for bosonic string theory in order to study transport properties of black holes in the context of membrane paradigm. We find that the shear viscosity of a highly excited bosonic string is equal to that of black hole horizon up to a numerical factor.
  • Markkanen, Tommi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    Cosmic inflation is a phase of accelerating, nearly exponential expansion of the spacetime fabric of the Universe, which is assumed to have taken place almost immediately after the Big Bang. Inflation possesses the appealing property that it provides solutions to deep cosmological problems, such as the flatness and horizon problems, and also gives a natural origin for the formation of the large scale structures we observe today. In this thesis we set out to investigate the role quantum corrections play for some simple models where inflation is driven by a single scalar field. It is essential that here the quantum corrections are calculated via curved space field theory. In this technique one quantizes only the matter fields, the dynamics of which take place on a curved classical background. This approach is rarely used in mainstream cosmology and it has the benefit that it allows the quantum fluctuations to back-react on classical Einsteinian gravity. The curved space quantum corrections are studied first in the effective action formalism via the Schwinger-DeWitt expansion and then by constructing effective equations of motion by using the slow-roll technique. We also focus on consistent renormalization and show how to renormalize the effective equations of motion without any reference to an effective action for an interacting theory in curved spacetime. Due to a potential infrared enhancement in effective equations in quasi-de Sitter space, we also perform a resummation of Feynman diagrams in curved non-static space and observe that it regulates the infrared effects. Concerning implications for actual inflationary models, we focus on chaotic type models and observe the quantum corrections to be insignificant, but nevertheless to have theoretically a non-trivial structure.
  • Vepsäläinen, Mikko (Helsingin yliopisto, 2007)
    When heated to high temperatures, the behavior of matter changes dramatically. The standard model fields go through phase transitions, where the strongly interacting quarks and gluons are liberated from their confinement to hadrons, and the Higgs field condensate melts, restoring the electroweak symmetry. The theoretical framework for describing matter at these extreme conditions is thermal field theory, combining relativistic field theory and quantum statistical mechanics. For static observables the physics is simplified at very high temperatures, and an effective three-dimensional theory can be used instead of the full four-dimensional one via a method called dimensional reduction. In this thesis dimensional reduction is applied to two distinct problems, the pressure of electroweak theory and the screening masses of mesonic operators in quantum chromodynamics (QCD). The introductory part contains a brief review of finite-temperature field theory, dimensional reduction and the central results, while the details of the computations are contained in the original research papers. The electroweak pressure is shown to converge well to a value slightly below the ideal gas result, whereas the pressure of the full standard model is dominated by the QCD pressure with worse convergence properties. For the mesonic screening masses a small positive perturbative correction is found, and the interpretation of dimensional reduction on the fermionic sector is discussed.
  • Tahkokallio, Touko (Helsingin yliopisto, 2008)
    The description of quarks and gluons, using the theory of quantum chromodynamics (QCD), has been known for a long time. Nevertheless, many fundamental questions in QCD remain unanswered. This is mainly due to problems in solving the theory at low energies, where the theory is strongly interacting. AdS/CFT is a duality between a specific string theory and a conformal field theory. Duality provides new tools to solve the conformal field theory in the strong coupling regime. There is also some evidence that using the duality, one can get at least qualitative understanding of how QCD behaves at strong coupling. In this thesis, we try to address some issues related to QCD and heavy ion collisions, applying the duality in various ways.
  • Mykkänen, Anne-Mari (Helsingin yliopisto, 2012)
    In this thesis we use lattice field theory to study different frontier problems in strongly coupled non-Abelian gauge theories, focusing on large-N models and walking technicolor theories. Implementing lattice studies of technicolor theories, we consider the SU(2) gauge theory with two fermions transforming under the adjoint representation, which constitutes one of the candidate theories for technicolor. The early lattice Monte Carlo studies of this model have used an unimproved Wilson fermion formulation. However, large lattice cutoff effects can be expected with the unimproved formulation, and so we present the calculation of the O(a) improved lattice Wilson-clover action. In addition to the adjoint representation fermions, we also determine the improvement coefficients for SU(2) gauge theory with two fundamental representation fermions. In another work, we study the deconfined phase of strongly interacting matter, investigating Casimir scaling and renormalization properties of Polyakov loops in different irreducible representations, in SU(N) gauge theories at finite temperature. We study the approach to the large-N limit by performing lattice simulations of Yang-Mills theories with gauge groups from SU(2) to SU(6), taking the twelve lowest irreducible representations for each gauge group into consideration. We find clear evidence of Casimir scaling and identify the temperature dependence of the renormalized Polyakov loops. The third study I present is related to the long-standing idea of non-Abelian gauge theories having a close relation to some kind of string theory. In the confining regime of SU(N) gauge theories, the flux lines between well separated color sources are expected to be squeezed in a thin, stringlike tube, and the interaction between the sources can be described by an effective string theory. One of the consequences of the effective string description at zero temperature is the presence of the Luescher term - a Casimir effect due to the finiteness of the interquark distance - in the long distance interquark potential. To study the validity of this effective model, we compute the static quark potential in SU(3) and SU(4) Yang-Mills theories through lattice simulations, generalizing an efficient `multilevel' algorithm proposed by Luescher and Weisz to an improved lattice action.
  • Collin, Anssi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2006)