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Energies of the staggered flux phase: A numerical study
Kinetic and magnetic energies of the staggered flux phase, with a fictitious flux of equal magnitude but opposite direction in adjacent square plaquettes, are calculated for the two-dimensional t-J model using the variational Monte Carlo method. They are compared to the energies of the resonating-valence-bond state, the flux phase with half a quantum per plaquette, and the projected Fermi-liquid state. For about 10% hole concentration the staggered flux phase has the lowest energy of the nonsuperconducting states, but its energy is still higher than that of the superconducting d-wave state.