Questions tagged [effective-field-theory]

An effective field theory is a systematic approximation for an underlying quantum field theory or a statistical model that includes the appropriate degrees of freedom of phenomena occurring at a chosen length scale (or energy scale), while ignoring substructure and degrees of freedom at shorter distances (or higher energies), summarizing those in its parameters.

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5answers
5k 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 ...
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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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Dirac once said that renormalization is just a stop gap procedure, and there had to occur a fundamental change in our ideas. Did something change?

Once upon a time, Dirac said the following about renormalization in Quantum Field Theory (look here, for example): Renormalization is just a stop-gap procedure. There must be some fundamental ...
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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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Does QED really break down at the Landau pole?

In QED, the fine structure constant $\alpha$ runs upwards in the UV, with a loop calculation (involving a geometric series of the vacuum polarisation diagram) indicating a divergence in $\alpha$ at $\...
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1answer
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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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2answers
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What is the Wilsonian definition of renormalizability?

In chapter 23.6, Schwartz's quantum field theory book defines renormalizability as follows, paraphrasing a bit for brevity: Consider a given subset $S$ of the operators and its complement $\bar{S}$....
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1answer
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What's the relation between Wilson Renormalization Group (RG) in Statistical Mechanics and QFT RG?

What's the relation between Wilson Renormalization Group(RG) in Statistical Mechanics and QFT RG? For easier to compare, I choose scalar $\phi^4$ in both cases. Wilson RG: Given $\phi^4$ model, $$Z=...
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2answers
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Relation between Wilsonian renormalization and Counterterm Renormalization

Wilsonian renormalization The answer by Heider in this link points out that when we integrate out high momentum Fourier modes, we end up with Wilsonian effective action (not the 1PI action). This is ...
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Is the effective Lagrangian the bare Lagrangian?

In standard (non-Wilsonian) renormalization we split the bare Lagrangian $\mathcal{L}_0$ into a physical Lagrangian $\mathcal{L}_p$ with measurable couplings and masses counterterms $\mathcal{L}_{...
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1answer
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6d Massive Gravity

Massive gravity (with a Fierz-Pauli mass) in 4 dimensions is very well-studied, involving exotic phenomena like the van Dam-Veltman-Zakharov (vDVZ) discontinuity and the Vainshtein effect that all ...
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3answers
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Feynman diagrams in effective theories

I've been seeing many feynman diagrams lately that I can't quite interpret yet. I've heard a basic Quantum Field Theory lecture and so to me, a Feynman diagram is simply a mnemonic picture to quickly ...
14
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1answer
425 views

Why do we care about old-style, counterterm renormalizability?

There are a few different definitions of renormalizability that are standard in quantum field theory textbooks. They're all called the same thing, but I'll make up names to make the distinctions clear....
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1answer
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Coleman-Weinberg potential: resum at 2 loops?

Say we want to compute the Coleman-Weinberg potential at 2 loops. The general strategy as we know is to expand the field $\phi$ around some background classical field $\phi \rightarrow \phi_b + \phi$...
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2answers
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Steps for going from Polyakov action to low-energy effective action (SUGRA?) in String Theory

A lot of string-theory questions have been asked here. This one is, hopefully, different in that this inquiry is specific and the expected answer would be more mathematical than philosophical in ...
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Could the full theory of quantum gravity just be a nonrenormalizable quantum field theory?

This may be more of a philosophical question than a physics question, but here goes. The standard line is that nonrenormalizable QFT's aren't predictive because you need to specify an infinite number ...
11
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1answer
529 views

Chiral perturbation theory: what is the Quark Condensate? why expand in $U$ rather than Goldstone fields?

I'm studying Chiral Perturbation Theory ($\chi PT$) from Scherer's Introduction to Chiral Perturbation Theory. What I am currently having some trouble understanding are two things: The quark ...
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2answers
947 views

What is wrong with a nonrenormalizable theory?

Non-renormalizable theories, when regarded as an effective field theory below a cut-off $\Lambda$, is perfectly meaningful field theory. This is because non-renormalizable operators can be induced in ...
10
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1answer
252 views

Why don't we have logarithms or exponentials of the fields in the Lagrangians?

All the Lagrangian densities I have seen have always been polynomials of the fields. Is this a coincidence or is there a reason which forbids, say, Lagrangians with logarithms or exponentials of the ...
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1answer
834 views

Basic question about the S-Matrix, Unitarity and Effective Field Theory

Consider scattering some particles in a state collectively denoted by $i$ to a final state denote by $f$. The scattering amplitude, S-matrix is then defined by: $S_{fi}\equiv \langle f|e^{-iHt}|i\...
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1answer
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Wilsonian RG and Effective Field Theory

I'm having trouble reconciling the discussions of the Wilsonian RG that appear in the texts of Peskin and Schroeder and Zee on the one hand, and those of Schwartz, Srednicki, and Weinberg on the other....
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1answer
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Could string theory be an effective theory?

I know that many quantum field theories could be low-energy effective theories in String Theory (ST), but I've also read and heard that ST cannot itself be an effective theory. I suppose this has ...
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Why does the Walecka model not include pions?

The Walecka or $\sigma$/$\omega$-model is an effective theory describing nucleon-nucleon interaction by an exchange of $\sigma$/$\omega$-mesons. Why does it not include interactions by pions?
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Is the Standard model an effective field theory (EFT)?

I've seen both positive and negative answers to this question, though most part of the community seem to agree it can be said it is an EFT up to the electroweak scale. My question is: What are the ...
8
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2answers
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Naive questions on the concept of effective Lagrangian and equations of motion?

Let us consider a LC circuit containing an electric dipole moment, the quantum system (electric field $E$ coupled with a dipole moment) can be described by the path integral $$Z=\int DEDxe^{i\int dtL},...
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1answer
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How to understand the Lagrangian of the standard model, effective or “fundamental”?

I have a question about understanding the Lagrangian of standard model, should we view it as a "fundamental" or effective theory? The "fundamental" theory here means the theory with physical cutoff (...
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1answer
868 views

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 ...
8
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1answer
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What is a superfluid in field theoretic terms?

I'm wondering how one precisely defines a superfluid in terms of the effective field theory description. In Nicolis's paper http://arxiv.org/abs/1108.2513 there seems to be an extremely simple ...
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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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Finite quantum gravity?

I'm working through an article that has some questionable assertions. The article is by Frank Tipler, "The structure of the world from pure numbers". (I'm going to ignore the fact that some of Tipler'...
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1answer
508 views

The non-renormalizable $\phi^6-$theory as an effective field theory

Let the non-renormalizable $\phi^6$ theory behaves as a low-energy, effective field theory, and works perfectly well below a finite energy (or momentum) scale $\Lambda$ for a system. In this theory, ...
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2answers
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Where do negative powers of $f_\pi$ in the hadronic amplitudes come from?

According to Peskin and Scrhroeder the pion decay constant $f_\pi$ is defined via the following matrix element $$\left\langle0|j^{\mu5a}(x)|\pi^b(q)\right\rangle=-if_\pi \delta^{ab} q^\mu e^{-iqx}$$ ...
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1answer
827 views

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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1answer
148 views

Understanding irrelevant operators in Wilsonian RG

I had always understood irrelevant operators as operators whose coefficients got smaller at lower energy scales, but there's a passage from Schwartz's Quantum Field Theory and the Standard Model which ...
6
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2answers
1k views

What are threshold corrections?

As the title goes, what are threshold corrections in quantum field theory? In particular, I would be glad if a good reference is provided. Standard QFT books such as Peskin, Weinberg, etc seem to ...
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1answer
162 views

Recovering nonrelativistic quantum mechanics from quantum field theory

In quantum field theory -- specially when applied to high energy physics -- we see that the requirements of Lorentz invariance, gauge invariance, and renormalizability strongly limit the kinds of ...
6
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1answer
288 views

What diagrams to include in Wilson's Approach?

In the Wilson's approach to renormalization we split the field into two parts; a high momentum part and a low momentum part. We then integrate out the high momentum terms. Consider the case of $\phi^3$...
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2answers
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Finding the effective Hamiltonian in a certain subspace

In order to find the effective Hamiltonian in a subspace which is energetically well separated from the rest of the Hilbert space people try to find a unitary transformation which makes the ...
5
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2answers
502 views

Wilsonian picture of renormalization and $\phi^4-$theory

What is the criterion of renormalizability in the Wilsonian picture? In this picture, why is a theory with $\phi^4$ interactions renormalizable and a theory with $\phi^6$ interaction is non-...
5
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1answer
415 views

QCD chPT chemical potential

I have recently been to a guest lecture about low energy QCD with a finite isospin chemical potential. I have two overall questions about this, since it wasn’t possible to ask questions at the given ...
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1answer
123 views

A pedagogical exposition of the hadron physics?

I am looking for a textbook/lecture notes/etc. on the basics of hadron physics. I wish to understand how to construct the effective Lagrangian for pions and nucleons starting from the QCD Lagrangian. ...
5
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1answer
184 views

Can the effective vertex for $\gamma\to3\pi$ be derived directly from the anomaly?

My question is whether the effective vertex for $\gamma\to3\pi$ can be derived directly from the anomaly (given in the first equation below), in analogy with the $\pi^0\to2\gamma$ vertex? As far as I ...
5
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1answer
154 views

Calculation of vaccuum expectation value in Chiral Perturbation Theory

From one point of view I have to admit from the start that this question might be a trivial calculation problem but the truth is, I'm quite stuck. I am studying chiral perturbation theory with the aim ...
5
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1answer
168 views

Renormalizing with external momenta set to zero

I've often seen in textbooks that authors renormalize diagrams by setting external momentum to zero. Under what conditions is this justified? An example of this is done in Manohar and Wise's book on ...
5
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3answers
364 views

Srednicki QFT Chapter 29: Feynman diagrams for calculating the effective action

I am trying to work my way through Srednicki Chapter 29 on Wilson's approach to renormalisation. However I am unsure why the Feynman diagrams Srednicki considers and calculates in this chapter are the ...
5
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1answer
168 views

Lagrangians in field theory and ignorance

The thing that has always bothered me while taking my QFT course was the seemingly arbitrary nature of Lagrangians. For the Klein Gordon equation we just wrote down the simplest Lorentz invariant ...
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711 views

Scattering amplitude, link between quantum mechanics and QFT

In quantum mechanics, we can define the scattering amplitude $f_k(\theta)$ for two particles as the magnitude of an outgoing spherical wave. More precisely, the asymptotic behaviour (when $r\...
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0answers
190 views

Non-Hermitian Lagrangian in Quantum Field Theory

I have seen more than once non-Hermitian Lagrangian densities being used in effective field theories. Usually the problem of unitarity is explained away with decays into some degree of freedom not ...
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0answers
145 views

Hamiltonian Operator for nonrenormalizable Effective Field Theories?

Assuming we have a Effective Field Theory, for example a Real Scalar Field Theory, defined through a Lagrangian density of the form $\mathcal{L}_{eff} = \frac{1}{2}\partial_\mu\phi \partial^\mu\phi - ...
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1answer
714 views

Uses of effective action and effective potential

Effective potential allows us to answer the question that whether there will be spontaneous symmetry breaking induced by quantum corrections. Is there any other information that can be extracted from ...