19S1 D. Anselmi
Theories of gravitation




D. Anselmi
From Physics To Life

A journey to the infinitesimally small and back

In English and Italian

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Recent Papers

Standard Model

We review the concept of purely virtual particle and its uses in quantum gravity, primordial cosmology and collider physics. The fake particle, or “fakeon”, which mediates interactions without appearing among the incoming and outgoing states, can be introduced by means of a new diagrammatics. The renormalization coincides with one of the parent Euclidean diagrammatics, while unitarity follows from spectral optical identities, which can be derived by means of algebraic operations. The classical limit of a theory of physical particles and fakeons is described by an ordinary Lagrangian plus Hermitian, micro acausal and micro nonlocal self-interactions. Quantum gravity propagates the graviton, a massive scalar field (the inflaton) and a massive spin-2 fakeon, and leads to a constrained primordial cosmology, which predicts the tensor-to-scalar ratio r in the window 0.4≲1000r≲3.5. The interpretation of inflation as a cosmic RG flow allows us to calculate the perturbation spectra to high orders in the presence of the Weyl squared term. In models of new physics beyond the standard model, fakeons evade various phenomenological bounds, because they are less constrained than normal particles. The resummation of self-energies reveals that it is impossible to get too close to the fakeon peak. The related peak uncertainty, equal to the fakeon width divided by 2, is expected to be observable.


Symmetry 2022, 14(3), 521 | DOI: 10.3390/sym14030521

arXiv: 2203.02516 [hep-th]

We study the resummation of self-energy diagrams into dressed propagators in the case of purely virtual particles and compare the results with those obtained for physical particles and ghosts. The three geometric series differ by infinitely many contact terms, which do not admit well-defined sums. The peak region, which is outside the convergence domain, can only be reached in the case of physical particles, thanks to analyticity. In the other cases, nonperturbative effects become important. To clarify the matter, we introduce the energy resolution $\Delta E$ around the peak and argue that a “peak uncertainty” $\Delta E\gtrsim \Delta E_{\text{min}}\simeq \Gamma _{\text{f}}/2$ around energies $E\simeq m_{\text{f}}$ expresses the impossibility to approach the fakeon too closely, $m_{\text{f}}$ being the fakeon mass and $\Gamma _{\text{f}}$ being the fakeon width. The introduction of $\Delta E$ is also crucial to explain the observation of unstable long-lived particles, like the muon. Indeed, by the common energy-time uncertainty relation, such particles are also affected by ill-defined sums at $\Delta E=0$, whenever we separate their observation from the observation of their decay products. We study the regime of large $\Gamma _{\text{f}}$, which applies to collider physics (and situations like the one of the $Z$ boson), and the regime of small $\Gamma _{\text{f}}$, which applies to quantum gravity (and situations like the one of the muon).


to appear in J. High Energy Phys.

arXiv: 2201.00832 [hep-ph]

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.


J. High Energy Phys. 10 (2021) 132 | DOI: 10.1007/JHEP10(2021)132

arXiv: 2104.02071 [hep-ph]

Several particles are not observed directly, but only through their decay products. We consider the possibility that they might be fakeons, i.e. fake particles, which mediate interactions but are not asymptotic states. A crucial role to determine the true nature of a particle is played by the imaginary parts of the one-loop radiative corrections, which are affected in nontrivial ways by the presence of fakeons in the loop. The knowledge we have today is sufficient to prove that most non directly observed particles are true physical particles. However, in the case of the Higgs boson the possibility that it might be a fakeon remains open. The issue can be resolved by means of precision measurements in existing and future accelerators.


Mod. Phys. Lett. A 34 (2019) 1950123 | DOI: 10.1142/S0217732319501232

arXiv: 1811.02600 [hep-ph]

OSF preprints | DOI: 10.31219/

Philpapers ANSOTN-3

Preprints 2019, 2019110315


We prove the Adler-Bardeen theorem in a large class of general gauge theories, including nonrenormalizable ones. We assume that the gauge symmetries are general covariance, local Lorentz symmetry and Abelian and non-Abelian Yang-Mills symmetries, and that the local functionals of vanishing ghost numbers satisfy a variant of the Kluberg-Stern–Zuber conjecture. We show that if the gauge anomalies are trivial at one loop, for every truncation of the theory there exists a subtraction scheme where they manifestly vanish to all orders, within the truncation. Outside the truncation the cancellation of gauge anomalies can be enforced by fine-tuning local counterterms. The framework of the proof is worked out by combining a recently formulated chiral dimensional regularization with a gauge invariant higher-derivative regularization. If the higher-derivative regularizing terms are placed well beyond the truncation, and the energy scale $\Lambda $ associated with them is kept fixed, the theory is super-renormalizable and has the property that, once the gauge anomalies are canceled at one loop, they manifestly vanish from two loops onwards by simple power counting. When the $\Lambda $ divergences are subtracted away and $\Lambda $ is sent to infinity, the anomaly cancellation survives in a manifest form within the truncation and in a nonmanifest form outside. The standard model coupled to quantum gravity satisfies all the assumptions, so it is free of gauge anomalies to all orders.


Phys. Rev. D 91 (2015) 105016 | DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.91.105016

arXiv: 1501.07014 [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.


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

arXiv:1101.2014 [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.


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.


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

arXiv:0808.3475 [hep-ph]

In flat space, $\gamma_5$ and the epsilon tensor break the dimensionally continued Lorentz symmetry, but propagators have fully Lorentz invariant denominators. When the Standard Model is coupled with quantum gravity $\gamma_5$ breaks the continued local Lorentz symmetry. I show how to deform the Einstein lagrangian and gauge-fix the residual local Lorentz symmetry so that the propagators of the graviton, the ghosts and the BRST auxiliary fields have fully Lorentz invariant denominators. This makes the calculation of Feynman diagrams more efficient.


Phys. Lett. B 596 (2004) 90 | DOI: 10.1016/j.physletb.2004.06.089


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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