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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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: ...
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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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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 ...
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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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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? I....
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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How can dimensional regularization “analytically continue” from a discrete set?

The procedure of dimensional regularization for UV-divergent integrals is generally described as first evaluating the integral in dimensions low enough for it to converge, then "analytically ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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?
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Difference between 1PI effective action and Wilsonian effective action?

What is the simplest ay to describe the difference between these two concepts, that often go by the same name?
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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 ...
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Why Does Renormalized Perturbation Theory Work?

I've read about renormalization of $\phi^4$ theory, ie. $\mathcal{L}=\frac{1}{2}\partial_\mu\phi\partial^\mu\phi-m^2\phi^2-\frac{\lambda}{4!}\phi^4\,,$ particularly from Ryder's book. But I am ...
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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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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 ...
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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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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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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} = ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 \...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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? ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Renormalization group evolution equations and ill-posed problems

There is a class of observables in QFT (event shapes, parton density functions, light-cone distribution amplitudes) whose the renormalization-group (RG) evolution takes the form of an integro-...
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Do particles with exactly zero energy exist?

In my understanding, in Newtonian mechanics if something has no mass it cannot be said to "exist" since it cannot possibly have energy or momentum and thus cannot participate in interactions or be ...
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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 $G$ ...
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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 ...
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What is the difference between pole and running mass?

For example, when we meassure Higgs boson mass to be 125 GeV, do we think about renormalized or pole mass? Should the mass of the Higgs change if it is produced at higher energies?
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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 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 ...
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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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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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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 ...
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Apparent failure of SUSY nonrenormalization theorem

I am having trouble reconciling two pieces of information. Consider supersymmetric QED, i.e. a supersymmetric U(1) gauge theory with two chiral superfields of opposite charges, $h$ and $\hat{h}$. The ...
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Which values of the Riemann zeta funtion at negative arguments come up in physics?

For my bachelor's thesis, I am investigating Divergent Series. Apart from the mathematical theory behind them (which I find fascinating), I am also interested in their applications in physics. ...