# 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 more from a QFT point of view, i.e., by counting the power of perturbation terms. I tried to find notes on this, but yet not anything constructive. Could anybody give an explanation with some details, or a link to some paper or notes on it?

Now, regarding powercounting the reasoning is roughly as follows: the EH action is basically $$\mathcal{L} = \frac{1}{\kappa} \int d^4x \sqrt{-g}R$$ with $g$ the determinant of the spacetime metric $g^{\mu\nu}$. The mass dimension of the Ricci scalar $R$ is $[m^2]$, that of the integral measure $[m^{-4}]$, i.e.in order for the whole expression to be dimensionless $\kappa$ has to have mass dimension $[m^{-2}]$. If you now do a perturbative expansion around a flat background of the metric, you'll encounter at each step more and more powers of one over $\kappa$. Graphically, this expansion is an expansion in numbers of loops in Feynman diagrams. At each step, i.e. at each loop level the whole expression should be dimensionless, i.e. at each step you need more and more powers of loop momentum (at each loop level two more powers, to be precise), s.t. in the end your expressions become the more divergent the higher you go in the perturtabive expansion. In order to cancel these ever sickening divergences you'd have to introduce an infinite number of counterterms which -- in terms of renormalization -- makes no sense, hence this theory is by powercouting non-renormalizable.