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Naturalness, Wilsonian Renormalization, and 'Fundamental Parameters' in Quantum Field Theory

Rosaler, Joshua and Harlander, Robert (2019) Naturalness, Wilsonian Renormalization, and 'Fundamental Parameters' in Quantum Field Theory.

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Abstract

The Higgs naturalness principle served as the basis for the so far failed prediction that signatures of physics beyond the Standard Model (SM) would be discovered at the LHC. One influential formulation of the principle, which prohibits fine tuning of bare Standard Model (SM) parameters, rests on the assumption that a particular set of values for these parameters constitute the ``fundamental parameters" of the theory, and serve to mathematically define the theory. On the other hand, an old argument by Wetterich suggests that fine tuning of bare parameters merely reflects an arbitrary, inconvenient choice of expansion parameters and that the exact choice of parameters in an EFT is therefore a matter of convention. We argue that these two interpretations of Higgs fine tuning reflect distinct ways of formulating and interpreting effective field theories (EFTs) within the Wilsonian framework: the first takes an EFT to be defined by a single set of physical, fundamental bare parameters, while the second takes a Wilsonian EFT to be defined instead by a whole Wilsonian renormalization group (RG) trajectory, associated with a one-parameter class of physically equivalent parametrizations. From this latter perspective, no single parametrization constitutes the physically correct, fundamental parametrization of the theory, and the delicate cancellation between bare Higgs mass and quantum corrections appears as an eliminable artifact of the arbitrary, unphysical reference scale with respect to which the physical amplitudes of the theory are parametrized. While the notion of fundamental parameters is well motivated in the context of condensed matter field theory, we explain why it may be superfluous in the context of high energy physics.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Rosaler, Joshuajrosaler@gmail.com
Harlander, Robertharlander@physik.rwth-aachen.de
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Condensed Matter
Specific Sciences > Physics > Fields and Particles
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Gravity
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Field Theory
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
General Issues > Reductionism/Holism
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
General Issues > Structure of Theories
Specific Sciences > Physics > Symmetries/Invariances
General Issues > Theory Change
Depositing User: Dr. Joshua Rosaler
Date Deposited: 12 Mar 2019 19:41
Last Modified: 12 Mar 2019 19:41
Item ID: 15810
DOI or Unique Handle: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.shpsb.2018.12.003
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Condensed Matter
Specific Sciences > Physics > Fields and Particles
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Gravity
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Field Theory
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
General Issues > Reductionism/Holism
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
General Issues > Structure of Theories
Specific Sciences > Physics > Symmetries/Invariances
General Issues > Theory Change
Date: March 2019
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/15810

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