19S1 D. Anselmi
Theories of gravitation




D. Anselmi
From Physics To Life

A journey to the infinitesimally small and back

In English and Italian

Available on Amazon:
US: book | ebook  (in EN)
IT: book | ebook  (in IT)

Recent Papers

Marco Piva

Extensions to the Standard Model that use strictly off-shell degrees of freedom – the fakeons – allow for new measurable interactions at energy scales usually precluded by the constraints that target the on-shell propagation of new particles. Here we employ the interactions between a new fake scalar doublet and the muon to explain the recent Fermilab measurement of its anomalous magnetic moment. Remarkably, unlike in the case of usual particles, the experimental result can be matched for fakeon masses below the electroweak scale without contradicting the stringent precision data and collider bounds on new light degrees of freedom. Our analysis, therefore, demonstrates that the fakeon approach offers unexpected viable possibilities to model new physics naturally at low scales.


Phys. Rev. D 104 (2021) 035009 | DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.104.035009

arXiv: 2104.03249 [hep-ph]

We introduce a new way of modeling the physics beyond the Standard Model by considering fake, strictly off-shell degrees of freedom: the fakeons. To demonstrate the approach and exemplify its reach, we re-analyze the phenomenology of the Inert Doublet Model under the assumption that the second doublet is a fakeon. Remarkably, the fake doublet avoids the most stringent $Z$-pole constraints regardless of the chosen mass scale, thereby allowing for the presence of new effects well below the electroweak scale. Furthermore, the absence of on-shell propagation prevents fakeons from inducing missing energy signatures in collider experiments. The distinguishing features of the model appear at the loop level, where fakeons modify the Higgs boson $h\rightarrow\gamma\gamma$ decay width and the Higgs trilinear coupling. The running of Standard Model parameters proceeds as in the usual Inert Doublet Model case. Therefore, the fake doublet can also ensure the stability of the Standard Model vacuum. Our work shows that fakeons are a valid alternative to the usual tools of particle physics model building, with the potential to shape a new paradigm, where the significance of the existing experimental constraints towards new physics must necessarily be reconsidered.


to appear in J. High Energy Phys.

arXiv: 2104.02071 [hep-ph]

We study inflation as a “cosmic” renormalization-group flow. The flow, which encodes the dependence on the background metric, is described by a running coupling $\alpha $, which parametrizes the slow roll, a de Sitter free, analytic beta function and perturbation spectra that are RG invariant in the superhorizon limit. Using RG invariance as a guiding principle, we classify the main types of flows according to the properties of their spectra, without referring to their origins from specific actions or models. Novel features include spectra with essential singularities in $\alpha $ and violations of the relation $r+8n_{\text{t}}=0$ to the leading order. Various classes of potentials studied in the literature can be described by means of the RG approach, even when the action includes a Weyl-squared term, while others are left out. In known cases, the classification helps identify the models that are ruled out by data. The RG approach is also able to generate spectra that cannot be derived from standard Lagrangian formulations.


arXiv: 2103.01653 [hep-th]

Testable predictions of quantum gravity with fakeons on the spectra of the CMB radiation

Based on the paper 20A3 Renorm (arXiv: 2006.01163 [hep-th])

Talk given online by M. Piva for the Tokyo Institute of Technology, on Jun 16th, 2020

Talk given online by Marco Piva for the University of Sussex, on July 20th, 2020


Testable predictions of quantum gravity with fakeons on the spectra of the CMB radiation

Talk given by M. Piva at the National Institute of Chemical Physics and Biophysics, Tallinn, Estonia, on Jun 9th, 2020

Based on the paper 20A3 Renorm (arXiv: 2006.01163 [hep-th])


We derive the predictions of quantum gravity with fakeons on the amplitudes and spectral indices of the scalar and tensor fluctuations in inflationary cosmology. The action is $R+R^{2}$ plus the Weyl-squared term. The ghost is eliminated by turning it into a fakeon, that is to say a purely virtual particle. We work to the next-to-leading order of the expansion around the de Sitter background. The consistency of the approach puts a lower bound ($m_{\chi }>m_{\phi }/4$) on the mass $m_{\chi }$ of the fakeon with respect to the mass $m_{\phi }$ of the inflaton. The tensor-to-scalar ratio $r$ is predicted within less than an order of magnitude ($4/3 < N^{2}r<12$ to the leading order in the number of $e$-foldings $N$). Moreover, the relation $r\simeq -8n_{T}$ is not affected by the Weyl-squared term. No vector and no other scalar/tensor degree of freedom is present.


J. High Energy Phys. 07 (2020) 211 | DOI: 10.1007/JHEP07(2020)211

arXiv: 2005.10293 [hep-th]


Talk given by Marco Piva at the conference “Avenues of quantum field theory in curved spacetime“, Modena, Sept 9th, 2019


We point out the idea that, at small scales, gravity can be described by the standard degrees of freedom of general relativity, plus a scalar particle and a degree of freedom of a new type: the fakeon. This possibility leads to fundamental implications in understanding gravitational force at quantum level as well as phenomenological consequences in the corresponding classical theory.


Int. J. Mod. Phys. D 28 (2019) 1944007 | DOI: 10.1142/S0218271819440073

arXiv: 1905.06516 [hep-th]

We investigate the properties of fakeons in quantum gravity at one loop. The theory is described by a graviton multiplet, which contains the fluctuation $h_{\mu \nu }$ of the metric, a massive scalar $\phi $ and the spin-2 fakeon $\chi _{\mu \nu }$. The fields $\phi $ and $\chi _{\mu \nu }$ are introduced explicitly at the level of the Lagrangian by means of standard procedures. We consider two options, where $\phi $ is quantized as a physical particle or a fakeon, and compute the absorptive part of the self-energy of the graviton multiplet. The width of $\chi _{\mu \nu }$, which is negative, shows that the theory predicts the violation of causality at energies larger than the fakeon mass. We address this issue and compare the results with those of the Stelle theory, where $\chi _{\mu \nu }$ is a ghost instead of a fakeon.


J. High Energy Phys. 11 (2018) 21 | DOI: 10.1007/JHEP11(2018)021

arXiv: 1806.03605 [hep-th]

A theory of quantum gravity has been recently proposed by means of a novel quantization prescription, which is able to turn the poles of the free propagators that are due to the higher derivatives into fakeons. The classical Lagrangian contains the cosmological term, the Hilbert term, $
\sqrt{-g}R_{\mu \nu }R^{\mu \nu }$ and $\sqrt{-g}R^{2}$. In this paper, we compute the one-loop renormalization of the theory and the absorptive part of the graviton self energy. The results illustrate the mechanism that makes renormalizability compatible with unitarity. The fakeons disentangle the real part of the self energy from the imaginary part. The former obeys a renormalizable power counting, while the latter obeys the nonrenormalizable power counting of the low energy expansion and is consistent with unitarity in the limit of vanishing cosmological constant. The value of the absorptive part is related to the central charge $c$ of the matter fields coupled to gravity.


J. High Energ. Phys. 05 (2018) 27 | DOI: 10.1007/JHEP05(2018)027

arXiv: 1803.07777 [hep-th]

→ Mathematica files attached to paper

Search this site

YouTube Channel

Quantum Gravity Youtube Channel Quantum Gravity Quantum Gravity - Youtube Channel


14B1 D. Anselmi

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

Last update: May 9th 2015, 230 pages

Avaibable on Amazon:


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