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Field redefinitions

Using the Batalin-Vilkovisky formalism, we study the Ward identities and the equations of gauge dependence in potentially anomalous general gauge theories, renormalizable or not. A crucial new term, absent in manifestly nonanomalous theories, is responsible for interesting effects. We prove that gauge invariance always implies gauge independence, which in turn ensures perturbative unitarity. Precisely, we consider potentially anomalous theories that are actually free of gauge anomalies thanks to the Adler-Bardeen theorem. We show that when we make a canonical transformation on the tree-level action, it is always possible to re-renormalize the divergences and re-fine-tune the finite local counterterms, so that the renormalized $\Gamma $ functional of the transformed theory is also free of gauge anomalies, and is related to the renormalized $\Gamma $ functional of the starting theory by a canonical transformation. An unexpected consequence of our results is that the beta functions of the couplings may depend on the gauge-fixing parameters, although the physical quantities remain gauge independent. We discuss nontrivial checks of high-order calculations based on gauge independence and determine how powerful they are.

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Phys. Rev. D 92 (2015) 025027 | DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.92.025027

arXiv: 1501.06692 [hep-th]


Let $S(\Phi,U,K,K_{U})$ denote the solution of the master equation $(S,S)=0$, where $\{\Phi ^{A},U\}$ are the fields and $\{K_{A},K_{U}\}$ are the sources coupled to the $\Phi ^{A}$- and $U$-gauge transformations. If we replace $U$ with the solution $U^{*}(\Phi ,K,K_{U})$ of the $U$-field equations
\begin{equation}
\frac{\delta _{r}S}{\delta U}=0,
\end{equation}
then the action
\begin{equation}
S^{*}(\Phi ,K,K_{U})=S(\Phi ,U^{*}(\Phi ,K,K_{U}),K,K_{U})
\end{equation}
satisfies the master equation $(S^{*},S^{*})=0$ in the reduced set of fields and sources $\Phi,K$.

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Consider a functional integral
\[
\mathcal{I}=\int [\mathrm{d}\varphi ]\hspace{0.02in}\exp \left( -S(\varphi)+\int J\left( \varphi -bU\right) \right) ,
\]
where $U(\varphi ,bJ)$ is a local function of $\varphi$ and $J$, and $b$ is a constant. Then there exists a perturbatively local change of variables
\[
\varphi =\varphi (\varphi ^{\prime },b,bJ)=\varphi ^{\prime }+\mathcal{O}(b),
\]
expressed as a series expansion in $b$, such that
\[
\mathcal{I}=\int [\mathrm{d}\varphi ^{\prime }]\hspace{0.02in}\exp \left(
-S^{\prime }(\varphi ^{\prime },b)+\int J\varphi ^{\prime }\right) ,
\]
where $S^{\prime }(\varphi ^{\prime },b)=S(\varphi (\varphi^{\prime },b,0))$.

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Consider an action $S$ depending on fields $\phi_{i}$, where the index $i$ labels both the field type, the component and the spacetime point. Add a term quadratically proportional to the field equations $S_{i}\equiv \delta S/\delta \phi _{i}$ and define the modified action
\begin{equation}
\phantom{(1)}\qquad\qquad\qquad S^{\prime }(\phi _{i})=S(\phi _{i})+S_{i}F_{ij}S_{j}, \qquad\qquad\qquad (1)
\end{equation}
where $F_{ij}$ is symmetric and can contain derivatives acting to its left and to its right. Summation over repeated indices (including the integrationover spacetime points) is understood. Then there exists a field redefinition
\begin{equation}
\phantom{(1)}\qquad\qquad\qquad\phi _{i}^{\prime }=\phi _{i}+\Delta _{ij}S_{j}, \qquad\qquad\qquad (2)
\end{equation}
with $\Delta _{ij}$ symmetric, such that, perturbatively in $F$ and to all orders in powers of $F$,
\begin{equation}
\phantom{(1)}\qquad\qquad\qquad S^{\prime }(\phi _{i})=S(\phi _{i}^{\prime }). \qquad\qquad\qquad (3)
\end{equation}

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14B1 D. Anselmi
Renormalization

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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.)