Renormalization is an ensemble of techniques which serves to treat the infinities which appear in quantum field theory or statistical mechanics.

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Divergent Series

Why is it that divergent series make sense? Specifically, by basic calculus a sum such as $1 - 1 + 1 ...$ describes a divergent series (where divergent := non-convergent sequence of partial sums) ...
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How does the sum of the series “1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6…” to infinity = “-1/12”? [duplicate]

How does the sum of the series “1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6…” to infinity = “-1/12”, in the context of physics? I heard Lawrence Krauss say this once during a debate with Hamza Tzortzis ...
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What exactly is regularization in QFT?

The question. Does there exist a mathematicaly precise, commonly accepted definition of the term "regularization procedure" in perturbative quantum field theory? If so, what is it? Motivation and ...
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How to show that tensor gravity is nonrenormalizable?

Let's have the tensor gravity theory, which represented the massless spin-2 field: $$ L = -\frac{1}{32 \pi G}\left( \frac{1}{2}(\partial_{\alpha}h_{\nu \beta}) \partial^{\alpha}\bar {h}^{\nu \beta} - ...
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Basic question about the S-Matrix, Unitarity and Effective Field Theory

Consider scattering some particles in a state collectively denoted by $i$ to a final state denote by $f$. The scattering amplitude, S-matrix is then defined by: $S_{fi}\equiv \langle ...
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Peskin's book page 334 proof of $Z_1=Z_2$ to all orders in QED perturbation theory

Peskin in his QFT page 334 argued that $Z_1=Z_2$ to all orders in QED perturbation theory, but I couldn't understand his argument: ... With a generalization of the argument given there (section ...
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Explicit calculation of bosonic string Weyl invariance at one loop

I have been trying to do all the calculations in the Green, Schwarz and Witten Superstring Theory textbook. At the end of chapter 3, the author did one-loop calculation for Weyl invariance for the ...
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Derivative with respect to ${\not}{p}$

When studying renormalization of QED in standard textbooks, we typically encounter derivatives with respect to ${\not}{p}=p^\mu \gamma_\mu$, i.e., $\partial/\partial{\not}p$. As far as I understand, ...
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Where does the divergence in the $g\phi^3$ $d=4$ 3 point one loop diagram (three external legs) come from?

$g\phi^3$ , $d=4$ , 3 point One loop diagram (three external legs) Divergence I am trying to find where the divergence factor/pole is on the following diagram in 4 dimensions so that I can use ...
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Semantic problem about renormalizability

This post relates to this previous one. My question is, what is the actual meaning of a theory being renormalizable? There might be at-least two possibilities (correct me if I am wrong) ...
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One-loop beta functions of the Standard Model

For my master's research on energy scale independent combinations of renormalization group equations in supersymmetric theories, I need an overview of all the one-loop beta functions of the Standard ...
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Running chargino/neutralino masses in MSSM

Consider the plot below, showing the running of different masses due to renormalization for a certain point of the (c)MSSM. I am able to exactly reproduce the plot, including the running of M1, M2, ...
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Amplitudes in renormalized perturbation theory

This question arose while reading Peskin and Schroeder, specifically, it arose in regards to the sum of diagrams above their Eq. (10.20) on pg. 326. The context is $\phi ^4$ theory and they are using ...
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Link between anomalous dimensions and fractal dimensions

I just realized that anomalous dimensions in quantum/statistical field theory is not that different from fractal dimensions of objects. They both describe how quantitaive objects transform under a ...
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Why does the counterterm's propagator have inverse units of the propagator? $\phi^4$-theory

According to Peskin & Schroeder (page 325), the Feynman rule for the counterterm ------(x)----- for $$ \frac12 ...
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Why do three dimensional gauge theories flow to conformal theories in the infrared?

What is meant with the fact that Super Yang-Mills flows to a conformal field theory in the infrared? Also, is this a general fact or does this depend on the fact of considering a certain class of ...
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Renormalization of Composite Chiral Superfields

On page 24 of these lecture notes http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-th/0309149 it is stated that products of chiral superfields do not suffer from short distance singularities. In other words, if I want to ...
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Why isn't renormalization called dark physics?

In QED there is extra energy that has to be gotten rid of to match observations. Kind of the opposite to GR/ND where you have to add extra energy/matter to match observations. Why isn't ...
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Misunderstanding Wick Ordering

In M. Salmhofer's "Renormalization, An Introduction" Wick ordering is defined as follows: Let $C = C_\Gamma$ be a nonnegative symmetric operator on $\mathbb{C}^\Gamma$. For $J: \Gamma \to ...
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IR non-renormalizable theory

can be a theory with an infinite number of divergent integrals of the form $$ \int \frac{d^{p}k}{k^{m}} $$ for m=1 , 2 , 3 , 4 ,...... so the theory would be IR non renormalizable and you would need ...
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Beta function from exact renormalization group equation

I'm trying to calculate beta functions from exact (or functional) renormalization group equation (I mean Wilson-Polchinski RGE). I've got the equations but I don't know exactly how to use the ...
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If Renormalization Scale is Arbitrary, Why Do We Care about Running Couplings?

For the bounty please verify the following reasoning [copied from comment below] Ah right, so the idea is that overall observable quantities must be independent of the renormalization scale. But at ...
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Does the 4/3 problem of classical electromagnetism remain in quantum mechanics?

In Volume II Chapter 28 of the Feymann Lectures on Physics, Feynman discusses the infamous 4/3 problem of classical electromagnetism. Suppose you have a charged particle of radius $a$ and charge $q$ ...
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What happens when you apply the path integral to the Einstein-Hilbert action?

The Einstein Field Equations emerge when applying the principle of least action to the Einstein-Hilbert action, and from what I understand the path integral formulation generalizes the principle of ...
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Is the effective Lagrangian the bare Lagrangian?

In standard (non-Wilsonian) renormalization we split the bare Lagrangian $\mathcal{L}_0$ into a physical Lagrangian $\mathcal{L}_p$ with measurable couplings and masses counterterms ...
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Sharp cut-off, quadratic corrections and naturalness

When introducing the fine-tuning problem, a sharp cut-off as a regulator in the calculation of the Higgs mass corrections is used. Since this regulator breaks translational and gauge invariance, up to ...
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What is the definition of a “UV-complete” theory?

I would like to know (1) what exactly is a UV-complete theory and (2) what is a confirmatory test of that? Is asymptotic freedom enough to conclude that a theory is UV-complete? Does it become ...
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Ambiguity in Beta Functions (2-loop)

Beyond one-loop, the beta function of a QFT is scheme dependent. I would like to understand better this ambiguity. The easiest thing to say is that you haven't calculated something physical, so of ...
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Does effective theory have the same meaning in particle and condensed matter physics

I have a naive question about the meaning of effective theory in particle physics and condensed matter physics. In particle physics, from what I know, the effective theory comes from the Wilsonian ...
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Why are only logarithmic divergence relevant for the Callan-Symanzik equation? Intuitive understanding?

I may be wrong, but it seems that only logarithmic divergences need to be retained when using the Callan-Symanzik equation, finding running couplings, etc. Why is this the case? Is there some simple ...
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Renormalizability of the Polyakov Action

I was told today that the Polyakov action for a $p$-brane is (superficially) re-normalizable iff $p\leq 1$. Of course, when I went to check for myself, I screwed up my power-counting, and I'm having ...
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What does it mean for a QFT to not be well-defined?

It is usually said that QED, for instance, is not a well-defined QFT. It has to be embedded or completed in order to make it consistent. Most of these arguments amount to using the renormalization ...
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Why do people rule out zeta regularization for renormalization?

Using zeta regularization one can get a formula for regularizing the integral $ \int_{a}^{\infty}x^{m-s}\text dx $ for any $m$. However, I have not seen anywhere. For example, I do not know why in ...
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Gauge fields in Polyakov's treatment of renormalization for nonlinear sigma model

I am deriving the results of renormalization for nonlinear sigma model using Polyakov approach. I am closely following chapter 2 of Polyakov's book--- ``Gauge fields and strings''. Action for the ...
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What are the details of the renormalization of Chern-Simons theory?

What is a good, simple argument as to why Chern-Simons theory' is renormalisable? Any good books/references dealing with this effectively? Why does the $\beta$-function vanish? Thanks!
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Two Loop ultraviolet divergence of $\phi^4$ theory

During the renormalization procedure of a massive $\phi^4$ theory at two loop level, one finds that the quantity $K_{\Lambda}(k^2,m^2)-K_{\Lambda}(0,m^2)$ that appears in the bare $\Gamma^{(2)}$ ...
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How to determine that the renormalization constant $Z_3$ must depend only on $g$ and $\Lambda/m$

In Le Bellac's book, Quantum and Statistical Field Theory, the renormalization constant $Z_3$ is introduced with the equation $$ \Gamma^{(2)}_R(k^2, m^2, g) = Z_3 \Gamma^{(2)}(k^2, m_0^2, g_0; ...
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Why is renormalization necessary in finite theories?

Michael Brown made the following comment here: The modern understanding of renormalization (due to Kadanoff, Wilson and others) is hardly controversial and has nothing really to do with ...
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Regularization and renomalization in the lightcone quantization of bosonic string

This question relates to this link. But I still don't understand it >_< In Polchinski's string theory vol I, p. 22, there is a divergence term (when $\epsilon \rightarrow 0$) in the zero point ...
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Nonequilibrium themal QFT

Wick rotation to thermal of QFT in Minkowski space to thermal QFT, which is after this transformation analogue to statistical mechanics, does only describe equilibrium statistical mechanics. On page ...
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How does the Ward-Takahashi Identity imply that non-transverse photons are unphysical in QED?

Peskin and Schroeder say that the Ward Identity of QED proves that non-transverse photon polarizations can be consistently ignored, but I'm confused about the details. Setup One starts by ...
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Why do we expect our theories to be independent of cutoffs?

Final edit: I think I pretty much understand now (touch wood)! But there's one thing I don't get. What's the physical reason for expecting the correlation functions to be independent of the cutoff? ...
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Running of gauge couplings in the Standard Model [closed]

I'm sure many of us are familiar with the following plot showing the running of the inverse of the fine-structure constants of the SM. (I got the picture from google) At one-loop, the expressions ...
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Caimir effect regularization for every divergent sum or series

can we use the tools of renormalization of casimir effect to get finite results for any divergent series in QFT ?? for example let be the divergent series $ \sum_{n=1}^{\infty}n^{l} $ for positive ...
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Charge Renormalization and Photon Propagator

I'm trying to understand charge renormalization in QED. I know that one can write the full photon propagator as $$\frac{-i\eta_{\mu\nu}}{q^2(1-\Pi(q^2))}$$ where $\Pi$ is regular at $0$. Obviously ...
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Zeta regularization and Renormalization group

Is there a physical method to prove for example when the zeta regularization of a series $$ 1+2^{k}+3^{k}+............= \zeta (-k) $$ gives the correct result: Casimir effect, vacuum energy and when ...
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Field Strength Renormalisation in Peskin and Schroeder

In chapter 7 of Peskin and Schroeder they define the field strength renormalisation $Z$ for a quantum field to be the residue of the Fourier transform of the correlation function $$\langle \Omega | ...
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RGEs of the MSSM - problems with Mathematica

I'm having some troubles with the trilinear soft couplings of the MSSM RGEs. I've used the ones written in Martin's supersymmetry primer and I run them using mathematica, if I do so without taking ...
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How do fermion and scalar masses run with energy? Is the difference in their running the core of the hierarchy problem?

Do fermion and scalar running masses run in the same way? Specifically, what are the qualitative differences in the mass beta functions for, say, scalar $\lambda\phi^4$ field theory and the fermion ...
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Renormalization, symmetries and freedom to choose counterterms

I am considering the perturbative renormalization of a simple non-phenomenological QFT with Lagrangian ${\cal L}$ (for scalar fields with multiple generations). I understand that I can renormalize it, ...