Renormalization and redundancy in 2d quantum field theories


We analyze renormalization group (RG) flows in two-dimensional quantum field theories in the presence of redundant directions. We use the operator picture in which redundant operators are total derivatives. Our analysis has three levels of generality. We introduce a redundancy anomaly equation which is analyzed together with the RG anomaly equation previously considered by H. Osborn [8] and D. Friedan and A. Konechny [7]. The Wess-Zumino consistency conditions between these anomalies yield a number of general relations which should hold to all orders in perturbation theory. We further use conformal perturbation theory to study field theories in the vicinity of a fixed point when some of the symmetries of the fixed point are broken by the perturbation. We relate various anomaly coefficients to OPE coefficients at the fixed point and analyze which operators become redundant and how they participate in the RG flow. Finally, we illustrate our findings by three explicit models constructed as current-current perturbations of SU(2) k WZW model. At each generality level we discuss the geometric picture behind redundancy and how one can reduce the number of couplings by taking a quotient with respect to the redundant directions. We point to the special role of polar representations for the redundancy groups.

In: Journal of High Energy Physics, (2014), 2