Analytic Smearing of SU(3) Link Variables in Lattice QCD

An analytic method of smearing link variables in lattice QCD is proposed and tested. The differentiability of the smearing scheme with respect to the link variables permits the use of modern Monte Carlo updating methods based on molecular dynamics evolution for gauge-field actions constructed using such smeared links. In examining the smeared mean plaquette and the static quark-antiquark potential, no degradation in effectiveness is observed as compared to link smearing methods currently in use, although an increased sensitivity to the smearing parameter is found.