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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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, ...
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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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Etymology of “Renormalisation”

Just out of curiosity, does anyone know why "renormalisation" is so named? Who first came up with the term, and why was it used? I did a mathematics undergraduate so to me "normalisation" means ...
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Can we obtain non-Lorentzian metric from Lorentzian metric, through renormalization methods?

Since low-energy, non-relativistic thermal field theories are defined in Euclidean spacetime, while high-energy relativistic theories are define in Minkowski spacetime, I was wondering if there are ...
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The phrase “Trace Anomaly” seems to be used in two different ways. What's the relation between the two?

I've seen the phrase "Trace Anomaly" refer to two seemingly different concepts, though I assume they must be related in some way I'm not seeing. The first way I've seen it used is in the manner, for ...
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What are renormalons from a physics point of view?

This is again a question in the context of this paper about the Exact Renormalization Group. On p 23 and the following few pages, it is explained that for a $\lambda \phi^4$ bare action at the bare ...
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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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The divergence in QCD Series— How many are they, and what do they mean?

I am referring to this question, and especially this answer. In addition, QCD has - like all field theories - only an asymptotic perturbation series, which means that the series itself will ...
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Dimensional regularization and the finite part

Let be a dimensional regularized integral $$ \int d^{4-\epsilon}kF(k,m,s)= \frac{2}{\epsilon}+\frac{m^{2}}{3}(\gamma +log(4\pi)-\frac{1}{\epsilon}))$$ then formally if we elmiinate the divergent ...
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Is the Schwinger action principle important in renormalization?

Is the Schwinger action principle important in renormalization? I want to know if this principle could help us to see if a model is renormalizable of not. If you have any other comment or information ...
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Can a hierarchy of fixed points potentially be used to describe a kinetic energy spectrum which is composed of multiple scale invariant subranges?

Making use of a nonequilibrium functional renormalization group (Berges and Mesterhazy, 2012) are able to investigate a whole hierarchy of fixed points that explain the successive evolution of a ...
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Is the big desert hypothesis a wilder assumption than the see-saw mechanism to explain neutrino masses?

Sometimes I see comments about the big desert hypothesis that I don't understand. For instance in a famous blog : ...This is based on a renormalization group calculation extrapolating the Higgs ...
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Renormalization is a Tool for Removing Infinities or a Tool for Obtaining Physical Results?

Quoting Wikipedia: renormalization is any of a collection of techniques used to treat infinities arising in calculated quantities. Is that true? to me, it seems better to define ...
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Does the Renormalization of QFT Contradict Canonical Quantization?

Does the renormalization of QFT contradict canonical quantization? In canonical quantization, you take the classical fields and canonical momenta and turn them into operators, and you require that ...
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IR divergence and renormalization scale in dimensional regularization (part 2)

This is in continuation of my previous question, IR divergence and renormalization scale in dimensional regularization. Lubos gave a nice answer there but I want to get to a very specific example ...
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Dimensional regularization: removing more than just logarithmic divergencies?

I have followed two courses on QFT, which both involved renormalization by dimensional regularization. My confusion is that one of the professors claimed that dimensional regularization can only be ...
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IR divergence and renormalization scale in dimensional regularization

Is it possible that if a certain (loop) integral is IR divergent then that will have effect on the dimensionally regularized answer for that? (..does the epsilon expansion see the IR divergence in ...
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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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Integrating out high momentum modes in $\phi^4$ theory

I'm trying to follow section 12.1 of Peskin & Schroeder, which describes how integrating out the high momentum modes of the field in $\phi^4$ theory transforms the Lagrangian both by changing the ...
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Anomalous dimension for bare actions with a standard kinetic term

In this paper on p42, it is explained that when starting with a bare action that contains a standard kinetic term, this kinetic term attains a correction in the course of the RG flow which can be ...
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How (why!?) does one introduce an UV cut-off in dimensional regularization?

This question is in reference to the confusing equation 3.7 (page 14) of this paper. One sees the 1-loop answers in their theory as given in their A.7 and A.8 on page 20. Each of the terms is a ...
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What is energy in $z \neq 1 $ theories?

In a critical theory with dynamical critical exponent $z \neq 1 $, which amongst frequency, $\omega$, and dispersion, $E(\vec{k})$, may be referred to as ''energy''? I'm confused about this since in ...
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What is the difference between scale invariance and self-similarity?

I always thought that these two terms are some kind of synonyms, meaning that if you have a self-similar or scale invariant system, you can zoom in or out as you like and you will always see the same ...
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Relevant operators in two dimensional O(n) models

The most general hamiltonian of a two dimensional $O(n)$ and $Z_2$ invariant statistical model can be written: $$ H=\int d^2 x \left[\frac{\nabla \mathbf{\phi}^2}{2} + \frac{m_0^2}{2}\mathbf{\phi}^2 ...
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Beta-function non-zero at classical level?

In Jaume Gomis's lecture 5 on CFT at Perimeter Institute, he says (at 27:40 minute mark) that the beta function, classically, of the $m^2$ parameter in massive $\lambda \phi^4$ theory is $$\beta(m^2) ...
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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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Can Divergences in Nonrenormalizable Theories Always Be Absorbed by (An Infinite Number of) Counterterms?

For example, consider the $\phi^3$ theory in $d=8$, with Lagrangian: $\mathcal{L}=\frac{1}{2}\partial_{\mu}\phi\partial^{\mu}\phi-\frac{1}{2}m^{2}\phi^{2}-\frac{1}{3!}\lambda_{3}\phi^{3}$. In 8 ...
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Renormalizibility by power counting

When testing a theory for its renormalizability, in practice one always calculates the mass dimension of the coupling constants $g_i$. If $[g_i]>0$ for any $i$ the theory is not renormalizable. I ...
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Under what conditions are the renormalization group equations “reversible”?

As I understand it, the renormalization group is only a semi-group because the coarse graining part of a renormalization step consisting of Summing / integrating over the small scales (coarse ...
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Renormalization condition: why must be the residue of the propagator be 1

In on-shell scheme, one of the renormalization conditions is that the propagator, say, a scalar theory $$\frac{1}{p^2+m^2-\Sigma(p^2)-i\epsilon}$$ must have a unit residue at the pole of ...
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What is the relationship between complex time singularities and UV fixed points?

In this paper it is described how the turbulent kinetic energy spectrum and the flatness (a measure for intermittency) are governed by the position of the (dominant) singularities of the solutions of ...
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What constant varies in the fine structure constant?

Using the renormalization group approach, coupling constants are "running". If we apply this to the fine structure (coupling) constant, we do know that, e.g., at energies around the Z mass, $$\alpha ...