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Renormalization

The classical action of quantum gravity, determined by renormalization, contains infinitely many independent couplings and can be expressed in different perturbatively equivalent ways. We organize it in a convenient form, which is based on invariants constructed with the Weyl tensor. We show that the FLRW metrics are exact solutions of the field equations in arbitrary dimensions, and so are all locally conformally flat solutions of the Einstein equations. Moreover, expanding the metric tensor around locally conformally flat backgrounds the quadratic part of the action is free of higher derivatives. Black-hole solutions of Schwarzschild and Kerr type are modified in a non-trivial way. We work out the first corrections to their metrics and study their properties.

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JHEP 1305 (2013) 028 | DOI: 10.1007/JHEP05(2013)028

arXiv:1302.7100 [gr-qc]

We investigate the renormalization of gauge theories without assuming cohomological properties. We define a renormalization algorithm that preserves the Batalin-Vilkovisky master equation at each step and automatically extends the classical action till it contains sufficiently many independent parameters to reabsorb all divergences into parameter-redefinitions and canonical transformations. The construction is then generalized to the master functional and the field-covariant proper formalism for gauge theories. Our results hold in all manifestly anomaly-free gauge theories, power-counting renormalizable or not. The extension algorithm allows us to solve a quadratic problem, such as finding a sufficiently general solution of the master equation, even when it is not possible to reduce it to a linear (cohomological) problem.

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Eur. Phys. J. C 73 (2013) 2508 | DOI: 10.1140/epjc/s10052-013-2508-5

arXiv:1301.7577 [hep-th]

We develop a general field-covariant approach to quantum gauge theories. Extending the usual set of integrated fields and external sources to “proper” fields and sources, which include partners of the composite fields, we define the master functional $\Omega$, which collects one-particle irreducible diagrams and upgrades the usual $\Gamma$-functional in several respects. The functional $\Omega$ is determined from its classical limit applying the usual diagrammatic rules to the proper fields. Moreover, it behaves as a scalar under the most general perturbative field redefinitions, which can be expressed as linear transformations of the proper fields. We extend the Batalin-Vilkovisky formalism and the master equation. The master functional satisfies the extended master equation and behaves as a scalar under canonical transformations. The most general perturbative field redefinitions and changes of gauge-fixing can be encoded in proper canonical transformations, which are linear and do not mix integrated fields and external sources. Therefore, they can be applied as true changes of variables in the functional integral, instead of mere replacements of integrands. This property overcomes a major difficulty of the functional $\Gamma$. Finally, the new approach allows us to prove the renormalizability of gauge theories in a general field-covariant setting. We generalize known cohomological theorems to the master functional and show that when there are no gauge anomalies all divergences can be subtracted by means of parameter redefinitions and proper canonical transformations.

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Eur. Phys. J. C 73 (2013) 2363 | DOI: 10.1140/epjc/s10052-013-2363-4

arXiv:1205.3862 [hep-th]

We study a new generating functional of one-particle irreducible diagrams in quantum field theory, called master functional, which is invariant under the most general perturbative changes of field variables. The functional $\Gamma$ does not transform as a scalar under the transformation law inherited from its very definition, although it does transform as a scalar under an unusual transformation law. The master functional, on the other hand, is the Legendre transform of an improved functional W = ln Z with respect to the sources coupled to both elementary and composite fields. The inclusion of certain improvement terms in W and Z is necessary to make this transform well defined. The master functional behaves as a scalar under the transformation law inherited from its very definition. Moreover, it admits a proper formulation, obtained extending the set of integrated fields to the so-called proper fields, which allows us to work without passing through Z, W or $\Gamma$. In the proper formulation the classical action coincides with the classical limit of the master functional, and correlation functions and renormalization are calculated applying the usual diagrammatic rules to the proper fields. Finally, the most general change of field variables, including the map relating bare and renormalized fields, is a linear redefinition of the proper fields.

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Eur. Phys. J. C 73 (2013) 2385 | DOI: 10.1140/epjc/s10052-013-2385-y

arXiv:1205.3584 [hep-th]

In all nontrivial cases renormalization, as it is usually formulated, is not a change of integration variables in the functional integral, plus parameter redefinitions, but a set of replacements, of actions and/or field variables and parameters. Because of this, we cannot write simple identities relating bare and renormalized generating functionals, or generating functionals before and after nonlinear changes of field variables. In this paper we investigate this issue and work out a general field-covariant approach to quantum field theory, which allows us to treat all perturbative changes of field variables, including the relation between bare and renormalized fields, as true changes of variables in the functional integral, under which the functionals Z and W = ln Z behave as scalars. We investigate the relation between composite fields and changes of field variables, and show that, if J are the sources coupled to the elementary fields, all changes of field variables can be expressed as J-dependent redefinitions of the sources L coupled to the composite fields. We also work out the relation between the renormalization of variable-changes and the renormalization of composite fields. Using our transformation rules it is possible to derive the renormalization of a theory in a new variable frame from the renormalization in the old variable frame, without having to calculate it anew. We define several approaches, useful for different purposes, in particular a linear approach where all variable changes are described as linear source redefinitions. We include a number of explicit examples.

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Eur. Phys. J. C 73 (2013) 2338 | DOI: 10.1140/epjc/s10052-013-2338-5

arXiv:1205.3279 [hep-th]

We consider renormalizable Standard-Model extensions that violate Lorentz symmetry at high energies, but preserve CPT, and do not contain elementary scalar fields. A Nambu–Jona-Lasinio mechanism gives masses to fermions and gauge bosons, and generates composite Higgs fields at low energies. We study the effective potential at the leading order of the large-$N_{c}$ expansion, prove that there exists a broken phase and study the phase space. In general, the minimum may break invariance under boosts, rotations and CPT, but we give evidence that there exists a Lorentz invariant phase. We study the spectrum of composite bosons and the low-energy theory in the Lorentz phase. Our approach predicts relations among the parameters of the low-energy theory. We find that such relations are compatible with the experimental data, within theoretical errors. We also study the mixing among generations, the emergence of the CKM matrix and neutrino oscillations.

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Phys. Rev. D83 (2011) 056005 | DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.83.056005

arXiv:1101.2014 [hep-th]

We study the one-loop renormalization of high-energy Lorentz violating four fermion models. We derive general formulas and then consider a number of specific models. We study the conditions for asymptotic freedom and give a practical method to determine the asymptotic-freedom domain. We also point out that in some models the RG flow contains “rational” Zimmermann trajectories that might hide new symmetries.

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Phys. Rev. D81 (2010) 085043 | DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.81.085043

arXiv:1002.2704 [hep-th]

If Lorentz symmetry is violated at high energies, interactions that are usually non-renormalizable can become renormalizable by weighted power counting. Recently, a CPT invariant, Lorentz violating extension of the Standard Model containing two scalar-two fermion interactions (which can explain neutrino masses) and four fermion interactions (which can explain proton decay) was proposed. In this paper we consider a variant of this model, obtained suppressing the elementary scalar fields, and argue that it can reproduce the known low energy physics. In the Nambu$-$Jona-Lasinio spirit, we show, using a large $N_c$ expansion, that a dynamical symmetry breaking takes place. The effective potential has a Lorentz invariant minimum and the Lorentz violation does not reverberate down to low energies. The mechanism generates fermion masses, gauge-boson masses and scalar bound states, to be identified with composite Higgs bosons. Our approach is not plagued by the ambiguities of approaches based on non-renormalizable vertices. The low-energy effective action is uniquely determined and predicts relations among parameters of the Standard Model.

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Eur.Phys.J. C65 (2010) 523-536 | DOI: 10.1140/epjc/s10052-009-1211-z

arXiv:0904.1849 [hep-ph]

We study the Standard-Model extensions that have the following features: they violate Lorentz invariance explicitly at high energies; they are unitary, local, polynomial and renormalizable by weighted power counting; they contain the vertex $(LH)^2$, which gives Majorana masses to the neutrinos after symmetry breaking, and possibly four fermion interactions; they do not contain right-handed neutrinos, nor other extra fields. We study the simplest CPT invariant Standard-Model extension of this type in detail and prove the cancellation of gauge anomalies. We investigate the low-energy recovery of Lorentz invariance and comment on other types of extensions.

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Phys.Rev. D79 (2009) 025017 | DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.79.025017

arXiv:0808.3475 [hep-ph]

We classify the local, polynomial, unitary gauge theories that violate Lorentz symmetry explicitly at high energies and are renormalizable by weighted power counting. We study the structure of such theories and prove that renormalization does not generate higher time derivatives. We work out the conditions to renormalize vertices that are usually non-renormalizable, such as the two scalar-two fermion interactions and the four fermion interactions. A number of four dimensional examples are presented.

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Annals Phys. 324 (2009) 1058-1077 | DOI: 10.1016/j.aop.2008.12.007

arXiv:0808.3474 [hep-th]

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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.)