19R1 D. Anselmi
Theories of gravitation



Recent Papers

Archive for November 2018

Talk given at the Department of Physics and Astronomy of Southampton University, UK, on Nov 16th, 2018

I introduce the concept of fake particle and study how it is used to formulate a consistent theory of quantum gravity. Fakeons arise from a new quantization prescription, alternative to the Feynman one, for the poles of higher-derivative theories, which avoids the problem of ghosts. The fake particles mediate interactions and simulate true particles in many situations. Nevertheless, they are not asymptotic states and cannot be detected directly. The Wick rotation and the S matrix are regionwise analytic and the amplitudes can be calculated in all regions starting from the Euclidean one by means of an unambiguous, but nonanalytic operation. By reconciling renormalizability and unitarity in higher-derivative theories, the models containing both true and fake particles are good candidates to explain quantum gravity. In pole position is the unique theory that is strictly renormalizable. One of the major physical predictions due to the fakeons is the violation of microcausality. I discuss the classical limit of the theory and the acausal corrections to the Einstein equations.


Several particles are not observed directly, but only through their decay products. We consider the possibility that they might be fakeons, i.e. fake particles, which mediate interactions but are not asymptotic states. A crucial role to determine the true nature of a particle is played by the imaginary parts of the one-loop radiative corrections, which are affected in nontrivial ways by the presence of fakeons in the loop. The knowledge we have today is sufficient to prove that most non directly observed particles are true physical particles. However, in the case of the Higgs boson the possibility that it might be a fakeon remains open. The issue can be resolved by means of precision measurements in existing and future accelerators.


Mod. Phys. Lett. A 33 (2019) 1950123 | DOI: 10.1142/S0217732319501232

arXiv: 1811.02600 [hep-ph]

OSF preprints | DOI: 10.31219/


We define life as the amplification of quantum uncertainty up to macroscopic scales. A living being is any amplifier that achieves this goal. We argue that everything we know about life can be explained from this idea. We study a ladder mechanism to estimate the probability that the amplification occurs spontaneously in nature. The amplification mechanism is so sensitive to small variations of its own parameters that it acts as a bifurcation itself, i.e. it implies that the universe is either everywhere dead or alive wherever possible. Since the first option is excluded by the existence of life on earth, we infer that the universe hosts a huge number of inhabited planets (possibly one per star on average). We also investigate models of conscious and unconscious learning processes, as well as the structure of the brain and evolution. Finally, we address the problem of creating artificial life.


OSF preprints | DOI: 10.31219/


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14B1 D. Anselmi

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Last update: May 9th 2015, 230 pages

1. Functional integral
2. Renormalization
3. Renormalization group
4. Gauge symmetry
5. Canonical formalism
6. Quantum electrodynamics
7. Non-Abelian gauge field theories
Notation and useful formulas

Course on renormalization, taught in Pisa in 2015. (More chapters will be added later.)