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Certain topological invariants of the moduli space of gravitational instantons are defined and studied. Several amplitudes of two and four dimensional topological gravity are computed. A notion of puncture in four dimensions, that is particularly meaningful in the class of Weyl instantons, is introduced. The topological embedding, a theoretical framework for constructing physical amplitudes that are well-defined order by order in perturbation theory around instantons, is explicitly applied to the computation of the correlation functions of Dirac fermions in a punctured gravitational background, as well as to the most general QED and QCD amplitude. Various alternatives are worked out, discussed and compared. The quantum background affects the propagation by generating a certain effective “quantum” metric. The topological embedding could represent a new chapter of quantum field theory.


Class.Quant.Grav. 14 (1997) 2031-2047 | DOI: 10.1088/0264-9381/14/8/006


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14B1 D. Anselmi

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Last update: May 9th 2015, 230 pages

Contents: Preface | 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 | References

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