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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Renormalizing composite operators

Consider the QED Lagrangian, \begin{equation} {\cal L} = \bar{\psi} ^{(0)} ( i \partial_\mu \gamma^\mu - m ) \psi ^{(0)} - e A _\mu ^{(0)} \bar{\psi} ^{(0)} \gamma ^\mu \psi ^{(0)} - \frac{1}{4} ...
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Setting of renormalization scale in field theory calculations

In dimensional regularization an arbitrary mass parameter $\mu$ must be introduced in going to $4-\epsilon$ dimensions. I am trying to understand to what extent this parameter can be eliminated from ...
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Residues in QFT propagator

It is a well known fact that the location of the pole of a propagator (in QFT) can be interpreted as the physical mass. Is there an interpretation for the residue of the propagator? Note: I´m ...
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Explanation of Cardy's “a theorem”

There seems to have been some discussion of Cardy's "a-theorem" recently: “It is shown that, for d even, the one-point function of the trace of the stress tensor on the sphere, Sd, when suitably ...
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Why does local gauge invariance suggest renormalizability?

I'm reading Gauge Field Theories: An Introduction with Applications by Mike Guidry and this particular remark is not obvious to me: A tempting avenue is suggested by the QED paradigm, for if a ...
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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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Does the Standard Model have a Landau pole?

I have seen the statement that the Standard Model has a Landau pole, or at least it its believed that it does at $\sim 10^{34}$ GeV. Has this actually been proven (at least in perturbation theory, as ...
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Renormalization of field strength

I'm revisiting the elementary algorithms of renormalization that are taught in a classroom setting and find that the procedure taught to students is as follows: Write down the bare Lagrangian: ...
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How do we know for sure a theory is non-renormalizable?

In quantum field theory, we are looking for a Lagrangian that is, amongst other, renormalizable. But how do we determine whether or not a theory is renormalizable? Is this purely done by power ...
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Dimensional regularization and IR divergences and scale invariance

I want to know if dimensional regularization has any issues if the theory has IR divergences or is scale invariant. Does dimensional regularization see "all" kinds of divergences? I mean - what ...
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Instantons and Borel Resummation

As explained in Weinberg's The Quantum Theory of Fields, Volume 2, Chapter 20.7 Renormalons, instantons are a known source of poles in the Borel transform of the perturbative series. These poles are ...
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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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What is IR CFT and UV CFT?

What is IR CFT and UV CFT? In many physics related materials, they often mention IR, and UV. I think it is related with regularization (I remember in QFT, there is UV cutoff in some regularization ...
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Naturalness arguments and dimensional regularization?

How do issues of naturalness arise when regularizing QFT using dimensional regularization? I can only recall ever seeing naturalness arguments (hierarchy problem, cosmological constant problem, etc.) ...
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In QFT how do you write down the most general interactions?

This past year I took a QFT class and I now feel comfortable solving scattering problems, but I am still a bit perplexed by how physicists write down a Lagrangian in the first place. In particular, ...
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No non-trivial UV asymptotically free and IR free

How it could be proven that a non-trivial theory cannot be both asymptotically free and IR free (g=0 both in the UV and IR with some interpolating function in between)? This is of course contrary to ...
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Infinity of running couplings

A Landau pole - an infinity occurring in the running of coupling constants in QFT is a known phenomena. How does the Landau pole energy scale behave if we increase the order of our calculation, (more ...
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Why Zeta regularization is not valid for multiple-loops?

Why zeta regularization only valid at one-loop? I mean there are zeta regularizations for multiple zeta sums. Also we could use the zeta regularization iteratively on each variable to obtain finite ...
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Intuition for parameter $\mu$ in dimensional regularization

In dimensional regularization, a dimensionless coupling $g$ is replaced by $\mu^{4-d}g$ so that it can remain dimensionless. $\mu$ is unphysical, though its choice affects the values of counterterms. ...
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Cut-off Regularisation and Renormalisation in Scalar Field Theory, Deriving the Cutoff Independent Physical Mass

I'm having trouble reproducing Equation 42: \begin{equation}\tag{1} m^{2}_{\text{phys}}= m^{2}_{r} + m^{2}_{r} \tilde{\lambda} \text{log} \left( \dfrac{m^{2}_{r}}{\mu^{2}} \right) \end{equation} ...
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Regarding Non-renormalizatibility of GR

I've been doing some reading trying to get to a better understanding of some renormalization issues with the Einstein-Hilbert action. But, something odd came into mind that I'm hoping some users may ...
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What does it mean to renormalize an effective field theory?

This is in reference to slide 19 of this talk "As always in Effective Field Theory, the theory becomes predictive when there are more observables than parameters" Can one explain what this exactly ...
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Divergent sum in lightcone quantization of bosonic string theory

I had the following question regarding lightcone quantization of bosonic strings - The normal ordering requirement of quantization gives us this infinite sum $\sum_{n=1}^\infty n$. This is regularized ...
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What is meant by the phrase “this operator does not renormalize this other operator”, and how can understand it using diagrammatic arguments?

I am trying to understand some sentences in a paper. In section two the following theory of a (complex) massless scalar coupled to a $U(1)$ gauge boson is introduced ...
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Why holographic renormalization?

Why is there a need to perform holographic renormalization for the normal $AdS_5\times S^5$/CFT$_4$ correspondence if the brane theory is conformal? Since the flow along the AdS direction $r$ is ...
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Mass corrections to fermions proportional to the mass?

In this post regarding quantum corrections to a massless fermion field, the answerer stated that quantum corrections to the mass will always be proportional to the mass (at least in QED). This point ...
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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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Protection of the electron mass by chiral symmetry

In many textbooks it is said that mass renormalization of the electron mass is only logarithmic $\delta m \sim m\, log(\Lambda/m)$ because it is protected by the chiral symmetry. I understand that in ...
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What is the connection between Conformal Field Theory and Renormalization group in QFT?

As I know, the fundamental concept of QFT is Renormalization Group and RG flow. It is defined by making 2 steps: We introduce cutting-off and then integrating over "fast" fields $\widetilde{\phi}$, ...
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Anomalous Dimensions of Gauge Interactions

Peskin and Schroeder mention a few times that the anomalous dimension of a gauge interaction operator is zero. The justification for this is that the charge operator shouldn't get modified under ...
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Why is $R^2$ gravity not unitary?

I have often heard that $R^2$ gravity (as studied by Stelle) is renormalisable but not unitary. My question is: what is it that causes the theory to suffer from problems with unitarity? My naive ...
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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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The Euler equations as a RNG fixed point

In this paper at the at the beginning of the last paragraph on p.2 it is said, that the Euler equations, which are an infinite Reynolds number limit of the Navier-Stokes equations, arise as an RNG ...
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Why don't we have logarithms or exponentials of the fields in the Lagrangians?

All tbe Lagrangian densities I have seen have always been polynomials of the fields. Is this a coincidence or is there a reason forbid, say, Lagrangians with logarithms or exponentials of the fields?
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Questions regarding $D=4 $ ${\cal N}=4$ supersymmetric Yang-Mills

I have some questions regarding the $D=4 $ ${\cal N}=4$ super-Yang-Mills theory (the one with a really long action which can be acquired by compactifying the 10-dimensional ${\cal N}=1$ theory). I ...
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Momentum Space Renormalization of $\phi ^6 $ Model

I'm trying to find the RG flow to lowest order in $\epsilon = 3 -d $ for the energy functional: $$ f=\frac{1}{2} \phi ^2 +u \phi ^6 +\frac{c}{2} (\nabla \phi ) ^2 $$ where $\ d$ is the dimension ...
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Zamolodchikov's c-theorem paper

I am reading the 1986 paper [1] where Zamolodchikov proves the c-theorem and I would like to understand how equations (7a), (7b) and (8) are derived from the Callan-Symanzik equation. For ...
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Is the stability matrix of a linearised RG flow always diagonalisable?

This is a follow up on "Why are the eigenvalues of a linearized RG transformation real?". My question is simple: Is there some physical (or mathematical) reason for the stability matrix of ...
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Is there a way to obtain an RG flow equation for Quantum spin systems using MERA

We restrict ourselves to ground states of translationally invariant 1d quantum systems. I understand that there is the scale invariant MERA(multiscale entanglement renormalization ansatz) which ...
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Effective Field Theory (EFT) decoupling top

The decoupling theorem of Appelquist-Carazzone says that if you want to decouple a particle, the low energy resulting theory need to be renormalizable. You can't do that for the top, because you break ...
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Field redefinitions and new counterterms

My question was motivated by my attempt to answer this question. Suppose we are given an action and we make a change of variables such that the theory is non-renormalizable. Does the new theory then ...
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Deriving Feynman rules from Renormalized Lagrangian

In the context of Renormalized Pertubation Theory Peskin Schröder says: The Lagrangian $$ \mathcal{L}=\frac{1}{2} (\partial_\mu\phi_r)^2-\frac{1}{2}m^2\phi_r^2-\frac{\lambda}{4!}\phi_r^4 + \frac{1}{2} ...
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Is the Higgs bare mass larger than the physical mass?

The Higgs boson propagator can be written $$\frac{1}{p^2-m^2+\Sigma(p^2)}$$. If we take $p^2=m_P^2$ the physical mass, we get $m_P^2=m^2-\Sigma(m_P^2)$. Now, if $\Sigma\sim \Lambda^2$, we get ...
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Scalar field divergent mass correction interpretation question (hierarchy problem)

Simple power counting tells you that a scalar field coupled to some fermions at one-loop picks up a correction to the mass of the order $\Lambda^2$. Based on this people say things like "it's natural ...
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Drawing the RG flow diagram

In real-space renormalization group how does one find the complete RG flow exactly, (not schematically)? I understand it needs to be done on a computer. For example, I have the ising model on a ...
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conformal anomaly of free scalar in 2D

I'm trying to calculate the conformal anomaly $c$ of a free scalar on a 2-sphere. I've seen other, indirect ways to do this, but since this is a free theory I feel like it should be possible to see ...
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Does perturbation theory break down for quantum gravity?

Perturbation theory presumes we have a valid family of models over some continuous (infinitely differentiable, in fact) range for some parameters, i.e. coupling constants. We have some special values ...
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Are “confinement” and “asymptotic freedom” two sides of the same coin?

On Wikipedia it says that the two peculiar properties of quantum chromodynamics (QCD) are: confinement and asymptotic freedom. Asymptotic freedom is the idea that at low energies we cannot use ...
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Is the exact form of the Higgs potential known?

Usually the Higgs potential is given as $$ \frac{1}{2}\mu^2\phi^2 - \frac{1}{4}\lambda^2\phi^4 $$ but I never quite understood if this just serves to give us an idea of how symmetry breaking works, or ...
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Defining a CFT using beta-functions

Won't it be correct to define a CFT as a QFT such that the beta-function of all the couplings vanish? But couldn't it be possible that the beta-function of a dimensionful coupling vanishes but it ...