Recent theorems

Recent Papers

Quantum gravity

As it stands, quantum gravity coupled with matter in three spacetime dimensions is not finite. In this paper I show that an algorithmic procedure that makes it finite exists, under certain conditions. To achieve this result, gravity is coupled with an interacting conformal field theory $C$. The Newton constant and the marginal parameters of $C$ are taken as independent couplings. The values of the other irrelevant couplings are determined iteratively in the loop- and energy-expansions, imposing that their beta functions vanish. The finiteness equations are solvable thanks to the following properties: the beta functions of the irrelevant couplings have a simple structure; the irrelevant terms made with the Riemann tensor can be reabsorbed by means of field redefinitions; the other irrelevant terms have, generically, non-vanishing anomalous dimensions. The perturbative expansion is governed by an effective Planck mass that takes care of the interactions in the matter sector. As an example, I study gravity coupled with Chern-Simons $U(1)$ gauge theory with massless fermions, solve the finiteness equations and determine the four-fermion couplings to two-loop order. The construction of this paper does not immediately apply to four-dimensional quantum gravity.

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Nucl.Phys. B687 (2004) 124-142 | DOI: 10.1016/j.nuclphysb.2004.03.024

arXiv:hep-th/0309250

In three spacetime dimensions, where no graviton propagates, pure gravity is known to be finite. It is natural to inquire whether finiteness survives the coupling with matter. Standard arguments ensure that there exists a subtraction scheme where no Lorentz-Chern-Simons term is generated by radiative corrections, but are not sufficiently powerful to ensure finiteness. Therefore, it is necessary to perform an explicit (two-loop) computation in a specific model. I consider quantum gravity coupled with Chern-Simons U(1) gauge theory and massless fermions and show that renormalization originates four-fermion divergent vertices at the second loop order. I conclude that quantum gravity coupled with matter, as it stands, is not finite in three spacetime dimensions.

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Nucl.Phys. B687 (2004) 143-160 | DOI: 10.1016/j.nuclphysb.2004.03.023

arXiv:hep-th/0309249

I study some aspects of the renormalization of quantum field theories with infinitely many couplings in arbitrary space-time dimensions. I prove that when the space-time manifold admits a metric of constant curvature the propagator is not affected by terms with higher derivatives. More generally, certain lagrangian terms are not turned on by renormalization, if they are absent at the tree level. This restricts the form of the action of a non-renormalizable theory, and has applications to quantum gravity. The new action contains infinitely many couplings, but not all of the ones that might have been expected. In quantum gravity, the metric of constant curvature is an extremal, but not a minimum, of the complete action. Nonetheless, it appears to be the right perturbative vacuum, at least when the curvature is negative, suggesting that the quantum vacuum has a negative asymptotically constant curvature. The results of this paper give also a set of rules for a more economical use of effective quantum field theories and suggest that it might be possible to give mathematical sense to theories with infinitely many couplings at high energies, to search for physical predictions.

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Class.Quant.Grav. 20 (2003) 2355-2378 | DOI: 10.1088/0264-9381/20/11/326

arXiv:hep-th/0212013

We study a regularization of the Pauli-Villars kind of the one loop gravitational divergences in any dimension. The Pauli-Villars fields are massive particles coupled to gravity in a covariant and nonminimal way, namely one real tensor and one complex vector. The gauge is fixed by means of the unusual gauge-fixing that gives the same effective action as in the context of the background field method. Indeed, with the background field method it is simple to see that the regularization effectively works. On the other hand, we show that in the usual formalism (non background) the regularization cannot work with each gauge-fixing.In particular, it does not work with the usual one. Moreover, we show that, under a suitable choice of the Pauli-Villars coefficients, the terms divergent in the Pauli-Villars masses can be corrected by the Pauli-Villars fields themselves. In dimension four, there is no need to add counterterms quadratic in the curvature tensor to the Einstein action (which would be equivalent to the introduction of new coupling constants). The technique also works when matter is coupled to gravity. We discuss the possible consequences of this approach, in particular the renormalization of Newton’s coupling constant and the appearance of two parameters in the effective action, that seem to have physical implications.

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Phys.Rev. D48 (1993) 5751-5763 | DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.48.5751

arXiv:hep-th/9307014

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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.)