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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

71
votes
0answers
3k views

Superfields and the Inconsistency of regularization by dimensional reduction

Question: How can you show the inconsistency of regularization by dimensional reduction in the $\mathcal{N}=1$ superfield approach (without reducing to components)? Background and some references: ...
56
votes
1answer
1k views

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 $q$ ...
26
votes
13answers
3k views

Suggested reading for renormalization (not only in QFT)

What papers/books/reviews can you suggest to learn what Renormalization "really" is? Standard QFT textbooks are usually computation-heavy and provide little physical insight in this regard - after my ...
25
votes
3answers
488 views

Continuum theory from lattice theory

I am looking for references on how to obtain continuum theories from lattice theories. There are basically a few questions that I am interested in, but any references are welcome. For example, you can ...
25
votes
3answers
442 views

Renormalization Group for non-equilibrium

For equilibrium/ground state systems, a (Wilson) renormalization group transformation produces a series of systems (flow of Hamiltonians/couplings $H_{\Lambda}$ where $\Lambda$ is the cut-off) such ...
24
votes
2answers
951 views

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? ...
21
votes
4answers
847 views

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 ...
20
votes
3answers
588 views

Regularization of the Casimir effect

For starters, let me say that although the Casimir effect is standard textbook stuff, the only QFT textbook I have in reach is Weinberg and he doesn't discuss it. So the only source I currently have ...
19
votes
3answers
3k views

Why is gravity so hard to unify with the other 3 fundamental forces?

Electricity and magnetism was unified in the 19th century, and unification of electromagnetism with the weak force followed suit, bringing into play the electroweak force. I've been told that ...
18
votes
3answers
2k views

A pedestrian explanation of Renormalization Groups - from QED to classical field theories

shortly after the invention of quantum electrodynamics, one discovered that the theory had some very bad properties. It took twenty years to discover that certain infinities could be overcome by a ...
18
votes
2answers
183 views

Values of SM parameters at one certain scale

The general question is: What are the values of Standard Model parameters (in the $\bar{MS}$ renormalization scheme) at some scale e.g. $m_{Z}$? As its parametrization in Yukawa matrices is not unique ...
17
votes
5answers
2k views

Why should the Standard Model be renormalizable?

Effective theories like Little Higgs models or Nambu-Jona-Lasinio model are non-renormalizable and there is no problem with it, since an effective theory does not need to be renormalizable. These ...
17
votes
1answer
740 views

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 ...
16
votes
1answer
557 views

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 ...
15
votes
5answers
1k views

What is a good mathematical description of the Non-renormalizability of gravity?

By now everybody knows that gravity is non-renormalizable, what is often lacking is a simplified mathematical description of what that means. Can anybody provide such a description?
15
votes
3answers
781 views

Simple (but wrong) argument for the generality of positive beta-functions

In the introduction (page 5) of Supersymmetry and String Theory: Beyond the Standard Model by Michael Dine (Amazon, Google), he says (Traditionally it was known that) the interactions of ...
14
votes
3answers
784 views

Does renormalization make quantum fields into (slightly) nonlinear functionals of test functions?

Quantum fields are presented as operator-valued distributions, so that the operators in the theory are linear functionals of some test function space. This works well for free fields, giving us a ...
14
votes
1answer
636 views

Multi-loop beta function of gauge theory (*without* Feynman diagrams)

I would like to point to the beautiful section 4.3 (page 42) of these lecture notes. I think this is the most educative exposition I have ever seen anywhere about Yang-Mill's beta function. What I ...
13
votes
2answers
331 views

Possible research implications of proof of John Cardy's a-theorem in QFT

According to this recent article in Nature magazine, John Cardy's a-theorem may have found a proof. Question: What would the possible implications be in relation to further research in QFT? ...
13
votes
2answers
457 views

Renormalization in string theory

I'm taking a course in string theory and have encountered renormalization for the first time (and I suspect it isn't the last). Specifically, while quantizing the bosonic and spinning strings, an ...
13
votes
7answers
1k views

What are the uses of Hopf algebras in physics?

Hopf algebra is nice object full of structure (a bialgebra with an antipode). To get some idea what it looks like, group itself is a Hopf algebra, considered over a field with one element ;) usual ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the relation between renormalization in physics and divergent series in mathematics?

The theory of Divergent Series was developed by Hardy and other mathematicians in the first half of the past century, giving rigorous methods of summation to get unique and consistent results from ...
13
votes
1answer
541 views

Regulator-scheme-independence in QFT

Are there general conditions (preservation of symmetries for example) under which after regularization and renormalization in a given renormalizable QFT, results obtained for physical quantities are ...
13
votes
0answers
258 views

O(N) sigma model at large N

I would like to better understand the main principles of large-N expansion in quantum field theory. To this end I decided to consider simple toy-model with lagrangian (from Wikipedia) $ \mathcal{L} = ...
13
votes
3answers
561 views

Quantum field theories with asymptotic freedom

QCD is the best-known example of theories with negtive beta function, i.e., coupling constant decreases when increasing energy scale. I have two questions about it: (1) Are there other theories with ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

QM and Renormalization (layman)

I was reading Michio Kaku's Beyond Einstein. In it, I think, he explains that when physicsts treat a particle as a geometric point they end up with infinity when calculating the strength of the ...
12
votes
1answer
563 views

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 ...
12
votes
1answer
1k views

How to interpret vacuum instability of Higgs potential

If the Higgs mass is in a certain range, the quartic self-coupling of the Higgs field becomes negative after renormalization group flow to a high energy scale, signalling an instability of the vacuum ...
12
votes
2answers
308 views

Holographic Renormalization in non-AdS/non-CFT

In AdS/CFT, the story of renormalization has an elegant gravity dual. Regularizing the theory is done by putting a cutoff near the conformal boundary of AdS space, and renormalization is done by ...
12
votes
1answer
421 views

Why do irrelevant operators require infinitely many counterterms?

As far as I understand it, in the Wilsonian picture of renormalization, we view a theory as having some fixed cutoff and bare couplings, and integrate out high-momentum modes to understand what ...
11
votes
3answers
915 views

Evaluating propagator without the epsilon trick

Consider the Klein–Gordon equation and its propagator: $$G(x,y) = \frac{1}{(2\pi)^4}\int d^4 p \frac{e^{-i p.(x-y)}}{p^2 - m^2} \; .$$ I'd like to see a method of evaluating explicit form of $G$ ...
11
votes
1answer
505 views

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 ...
11
votes
1answer
109 views

Can renormalization group evolution be used to capture emergence?

I am posing this question with condensed matter systems in mind. Is it, in principle, possible to obtain emergence using the renormalization group (RG)? I read in X.-G. Wen's book (Quantum Field ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Are there books on Regularization and Renormalization in QFT at an Introductory level?

Are there books on Regularization and Renormalization, in the context of quantum field theory at an Introductory level? Could you suggest one? Added: I posted at math.SE the question Reference ...
10
votes
1answer
387 views

Can modern twistor methods to calculate scattering amplitudes be applied to renormalization group calculations?

As explained for example in this article by Prof. Strassler, modern twistor methods to calculate scattering amplitudes have already been proven immensely helpful to calculate the standard model ...
10
votes
2answers
652 views

The Reeh-Schlieder theorem and quantum geometry

There have been some very nice discussions recently centered around the question of whether gravity and the geometry and topology of the classical world we see about us, could be phenomena which ...
10
votes
1answer
232 views

Renormalizing QED with on-shell fermions

When renormalizing QED, we calculate the 1 loop correction to the fermion-fermion-photon vertex using the diagram, $\hskip2in$ When doing the calculation we typically let the photon go off-shell ...
10
votes
1answer
346 views

Symmetries in Wilsonian RG

I wanted to know if there is a theorem that in writing a Lagrangian if one missed out a term which preserves the (Lie?) symmetry of the other terms and is also marginal then that will necessarily be ...
10
votes
2answers
349 views

Power divergences from loops

I do not know what I should think about power divergences from loops. Most QFT textbooks tell us how to deal with logarithmic divergences from loops $\sim\ln(\Lambda^2/\Delta)$: we can set a ...
10
votes
0answers
183 views

List of known universality classes

I am working with RG and have a pretty good idea of how it works. However I have noticed that even though the idea of universality class is very general and makes it possible to classify critical ...
9
votes
1answer
442 views

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 ...
9
votes
2answers
365 views

In what sense is the renormalization group equation a group?

The renormalization group equation is given by: \begin{equation} \left[\mu \frac{\partial}{\partial \mu} + \beta \frac{\partial}{\partial g} + m \gamma_{m^2} \frac{\partial}{\partial m} - n \gamma_d ...
9
votes
1answer
500 views

Does the renormalization group apply to string theory?

Can we implement a scale dependent cutoff Λ to string theory? Can we perform a renormalization group analysis of string theory consistently?
9
votes
1answer
253 views

Renormalizing IR and UV divergences

In lectures on effective field theory the professor wanted to find the correction to the four point vertex in massless $\phi^4$ theory by calculating the diagram, $\hspace{6cm}$ We consider the zero ...
9
votes
2answers
458 views

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 ...
9
votes
1answer
137 views

How can one build a multi-scale physics model of fluid flow phenomena?

I am working on a problem in Computational Fluid Dynamics, modeling multi-phase fluid flow through porous media. Though there are continuum equations to describe macroscopic flow (darcy's law, ...
9
votes
1answer
279 views

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 ...
9
votes
1answer
967 views

Why is Einstein gravity not renormalizable at two loops or more?

(I found this related Phys.SE post: Why is GR renormalizable to one loop?) I want to know explicitly how it comes that Einstein-Hilbert action in 3+1 dimensions is not renormalizable at two loops or ...
9
votes
1answer
256 views

Radial quantization and infrared divergences

I am reading Ginspard lectures "Applied CFT" http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-th/9108028 which is not my first material on the subject. He tries to motivates radial quantization on the reason that ...
9
votes
2answers
316 views

How to prove equivalence of RG flow of QFT coupling constant and diagrammatic resummation at fixed renormalization scale?

QFT books say that solving the RG equation $\frac {dg} {d\textbf{ln} \mu}=\beta(g)$, using the one-loop beta function, is to the "leading log" approximation equivalent to resumming infinitely many ...