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Asymptotic safety of scalar field theories

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Daniel F. Litim, Matthew J. Trott

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We study 3d O(N) symmetric scalar field theories using Polchinski’s renormalization group. In the infinite N limit the model is solved exactly including at strong coupling. At short distances the theory is described by a line of asymptotically safe ultraviolet fixed points bounded by asymptotic freedom at weak, and the Bardeen-Moshe-Bander phenomenon at strong sextic coupling. The Wilson-Fisher fixed point arises as an isolated low-energy fixed point. Further results include the conformal window for asymptotic safety, convergence-limiting poles in the complex field plane, and the phase diagram with regions of first and second order phase transitions. We substantiate a duality between Polchinski’s and Wetterich’s versions of the functional renormalization group, also showing that eigenperturbations are identical at any fixed point. At a critical sextic coupling, the duality is worked out in detail to explain the spontaneous breaking of scale symmetry responsible for the generation of a light dilaton. Implications for asymptotic safety in other theories are indicated.


Original languageEnglish
Article number125006
Number of pages24
JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 12 Dec 2018

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