Infoscience

Thesis

Perturbative and non-perturbative aspects of RG flows in quantum field theory

This thesis explores two aspects of the renormalization group (RG) in quantum field theory (QFT). In the first part we study the structure of RG flows in general Poincaré-invariant, unitary QFTs, and in particular the irreversibility properties and the relation between scale and conformal invariance. Within the formalism of the local Callan--Symanzik equation, we derive a series of results in four and six-dimensional QFTs. Specifically, in the four dimensional case we revisit and complete existing proofs of the $a$-theorem and of the equivalence between scale and conformal invariance in perturbation theory. We then present an original derivation of similar results in six-dimensional QFTs. In the second part we present the Hamiltonian Truncation method and study its applicability to the numerical solution of non-perturbative RG flows. We test the method in the Phi^4 model in two dimensions and show how it can be used to make quantitative predictions for the low-energy observables. In particular, we calculate the numerical spectrum and estimate the critical coupling at which the theory becomes conformal. We also compare our results to previous estimates. The main original ingredient of our analysis is an analytic renormalization procedure used to improve the numerical convergence. We then adapt the method in order to treat the strongly-coupled regime of the model where the Z2 symmetry is spontaneously broken. We reproduce perturbative and non-perturbative observables and compare our results with analytical predictions.

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