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Title: Aspects of the Renormalization Group in Three-Dimensional Quantum Field Theory
Authors: Safdi, Benjamin Ryan
Advisors: Klebanov, Igor R.
Contributors: Physics Department
Keywords: AdS/CFT
Quantum Field Theory
String Theory
Subjects: Particle physics
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: The concept of renormalization group (RG) flow is one of the most novel and broad-reaching aspects of quantum field theory (QFT). The RG flow is implemented by constructing effective descriptions of a QFT at decreasing energy scales. One reason that RG flow is useful is that often one is interested in low-energy properties of theories with complicated short-distance structures. RG flows are subject to C theorems in relativistic QFT. The C theorems order the space of Lorentz-invariant QFTs. RG flows generically begin at scale-invariant fixed points known as conformal field theories (CFTs) and end in trivial massive theories. With tuning, the RG flows may end at non-trivial CFTs. Each CFT has an associated dimensionless C value. The C theorem states that under RG flow from a UV to an IR fixed point, the C value decreases. In this Dissertation I present the F-theorem, which is a C theorem in three spacetime dimensions. I show that the correct quantity to consider is the Euclidean free energy of the CFT conformally mapped to the three-sphere, known as the F value. After motivating the F-theorem, I develop tools for calculating the F value in a variety of CFTs, with and without supersymmetry, including free field theories and gauge theories with large numbers of flavors. I also show that the F value is itself a useful quantity for probing the gauge/gravity duality and understanding other aspects of CFT, such as the scaling dimensions of monopole operators. The F theorem is closely related to quantum entanglement entropy. At conformal fixed points, the F value is equal to minus the renormalized entanglement entropy (REE) in flat Minkowski space across a circle. Away from the fixed points, the REE is a monotonically decreasing function along the RG flow. I compute the REE in a variety of holographic and non-holographic theories. I conclude the Dissertation by discussing a somewhat surprising result: the REE is not stationary at conformal fixed points.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Physics

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