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Princeton University Department of Physics

The Renormalization Group - Lecture Notes

Jan Tuzlić Offermann
January 22, 2018

1. Renormalization Group Scaling

Ising model recap:
E ({si }) = −B si − J si sj , (1.1)
i hiji

where {si } denotes some particular configuration of spins. The partition function is then
given by
Z= exp (−βE[si ]) (1.2)
{si }
= exp (−β)E[si ] (1.3)
m {si }|m
= exp (−βF (m)) , (1.4)

where we’ve defined the effective free energy F (m). Keep in mind that we’ve already
performed some kind of coarse-graining – let there already be some UV cutoff in place,
given by Λ ∼ 1/a.


Non-neighboring spins may only interact through intermediate ones. ∇φ and higher derivatives. • Translational/Rotational Invariance: The Ising model has a discrete translation symmetry. . the continuum version of these symmetries should emerge (and thus appear in F ). so that we may Taylor expand F [φ(x)] and consider low powers of φ. where f [φ(x)] is a local function that may depend on φ. φ(x) → −φ(x). . • Z2 symmetry: The Ising model exhibits symmetry under the combined transfor- mation B → −B. . we can write Z F [φ(x)] = dd xf [φ(x)] . si → −si . Certain lattice types (e. as: Z   0 d 1 0 0 1 2 02 04 Fζ [φ ] = d x ∇φ · ∇φ + µ (ζ)φ + g(ζ)φ + .6) 2 2 2 . . the standard square lattice) also have dis- crete rotational symmetries. we can write the general form of F [φ(x)] as Z   d 1 1 2 2 4 F [φ] = d x ∇φ · ∇φ + µ φ + gφ + . the temperature dependence sits in µ2 ∼ T − Tc . For distances much larger than our lattice scale.g. • Analyticity: We assume that F is analytic in φ(x). . (1. Considering a gradient expansion of f [φ(x)] in dimensionless quantity a∇.5) 2 2 For the Ising model. and so this should be reflected in F with symmetry under transformation B → −B. From the above assumptions. Conditions on F (m): • Locality of Interactions: The Ising model is defined so that each spin only interacts directly with its nearest neighbors. the terms with lower- order derivatives will dominate over higher-order ones. Thus. . Also. The renormalized form looks basically the same. those on adjacent lattice sites. we assume that φ(x) varies appreciably in x only over distances  a (our coarse-graining is coming into play). (1.

any scale must be "washed away".22 on page 41 (and onwards) in Tong’s notes – in this case we define ξ ∼ 1/µ2 with µ2 ∼ |T − Tc |. consider how our variables are rescaled under a renormalization group transforma- tion. 3 . for different distance scales. and the correlation function looks like ( 1 d−2 rξ .8) 2 If you’ve kept in mind the form of F [φ(x)].13)   1 =d−2+η (1.1.14) rd−2+η ⇒η=0.10) Z  d 1 [F ] = d x ∇φ · ∇φ = 0 (1. (1.7.7 suggests rescaling φ as φ(x) → φ0 (x0 ) = ζ ∆φ φ(x) with d−2+η ∆φ = . By convention (see footnote #1). where ν = 1/2. The first case may also have the denominator written more generally as rd−2+η .1. However. The "Scaling Dimension" At a fixed point of a renormalisation group. hφ(x)φ(y)i = rexp −r/ξ r (d−1)/2 r ξ . you might notice something funny going on. For the mean-field theory example. we write it as 1 hφ(x)φ(0)i ∼ . this gives us [hφ(x)φ(0)i] = d − 2 . function should take the form of a power law. This is 1 1 This "washing away" of scale suggests that the 2-point correlation because ξ ∼ |T −T c| ν. see Equation 2. We have our lengths rescale as x → x0 = x/ζ.15) 1 Our definition of ξ stems from that of the correlation function – ξ defines two regimes for the function. (1. with η = 0 for mean-field theory. Let’s think about inverse-mass dimensions. (1. mean-field theory results for critical exponents like η and ν are only good for d ≥ 4.11) 2 d−2 ⇒ [φ] = .9) [∂/∂x] = +1 . (1. (1. and do some "naive" dimensional analysis: [x] = −1 .7) rd−2+η Now. (1.12) 2 But something seems off here. so we still find that ξ diverges as we approach the critical point in the familiar 2D Ising model. (1. ν > 0 for the d = {2. For reasons explained in Tong’s notes (that we may not get to). because looking at both sides of Equation 3. 3} cases as well. so Equation 3.

3 According to Tong (page 66).17) O will be some product of φ and its derivatives. we say that O is marginal. gO will • diverge for ∆O < d (O is relevant) • vanish for ∆O > d (O is irrelevant) For the case ∆O = d. 1. Relevance of Interactions Let’s see how the analysis of scaling dimensions can help us determine if a given interac- tion term in our free energy is relevant. We’re interested in operators that have a well-defined scaling dimension. (1. for some general operator O.That’s not the general result – we know from experiments that ν 6= 0 for the 2D Ising model. 1. (1. see pages 49-52 in Cardy’s "Scaling and Renormalization in Statistical Physics". As a quick reminder on no- tation. irrelevant or marginal. 4 . 2 resulting in the correlation function aη hφ(x)φ(0)i ∼ . O is referred to as an operator. Z Fint [φ] ∼ dd xgO O(x) . the difficult part is finding an O that exhibits this property – these operators are typically complicated linear combinations of φ and its derivatives (and their products). but we commonly absorb this a into our definition of φ.7. (1. Rescaling φ is effectively coarse-graining it over blocks of larger and larger size a. we see that ∆ gO = d − ∆ O (1.3 so that under the renormalization group we have O(x) → ζ ∆O O(x) .17. For a fuller picture.19) Therefore. The η/2 difference between ∆p hi and Eq.12 arises from the third step of the renormalization group procedure. 2 This short comment on "dressing φ with a" is based on Tong’s notes. This dresses φ with a.18) From Equation 3. in favor of a correlation function like Equation 3. Let’s consider some interaction term O(x) in our free energy F . on the scaling of the spin-spin 2-point correlation function in the Ising model. we define scaling dimension ∆O so that O → ζ ∆O O under the renormalization group.16) rd−2+η This form is nicer for those used to using "engineering dimensions".2.

22) t where c± reminds us of the discontinuity in c at t = 0. So by Equation 3. (1. (1. In fact. (1.3. we can find the per-spin heat capacity c. (1. It immediately follows that 1 ∆t = . Z Fthermo (t) = dd x f (t) . magnetization (φ) and magnetic susceptibility (χ) given by c ∼ c± t−α .21)  γ 1 χ∼ .26) F is scale-invariant at the fixed point. Critical Exponents – Demystified We’re going to investigate how the critical exponents. (1. arise from scale invariance. which govern the power-law re- lations followed by all the thermodynamic variables with respect to the reduced tem- perature. For fixed t. c = −T ∂T 2 . These power laws can be simply derived for the case of Landau theory – this is more general.27) ∂2f From this expression. page 63. For fixed B = 0. f (t) must have ∆f = d.25 (and the fact that dd x → ζ −d dd x) to find that f (t) ∼ tdv . (1. (1.28) ⇒ α = 2 − dν . so it transforms like ξ → ξ/ζ.24) Thinking about scaling dimensions. since we want F → F .29) 2 4 ∂ f Recall that by definition.26.) 5 . if we recall4 that c ∼ ∂t2 . we have heat capacity (c). t = |T − Tc |/Tc .25) ν We can get at the other critical exponents by considering the expression for the thermo- dynamic free energy. It then follows that c ∼ tdν−2 (1.20) β φ∼t . we have φ ∼ B 1/δ . we can employ Equation 3. (1.23) We’ve already seen that the correlation length ξ follows a power law given by ξ ∼ t−ν . we simply see that ∆ξ = −1 since ξ is just a length scale.1. (1. (See "Thermal Physics" by Kittel & Kroemer.

31) 2 Now. β.Now let’s look at φ in Equation 3. We have ∆φ = β∆t (1. and using the derivative form of χ above. (1.) 6 .33) ν ⇒ γ = ν(2 − η) . we’re going to add a term of the form dd xBφ to F . Tc ∂t ∂t2 (I may have a minus sign error somewhere – but the proportionality should be clear.32) 2 Looking at Equation 3.23 features variations in B. = . (1.34) Lastly. Equation 3. For T > Tc : ∂f 1 ∂f T = (t + 1)Tc . Tc ∂t ∂t2 For T < Tc : ∂f 1 ∂f T = (−t + 1)Tc .23 gives us ∆B δ= ∆φ d+2−η = .35) d−2+η So if we know η and ν.21.30) ⇒ β = ν∆φ ν(d − 2 + η) = . we see that −γ ∆φ − ∆B = (1. This represents turning on R the magnetic field B – we could have done this earlier in our discussion. we see that ∆B = d − ∆φ d+2−η = . =− ∂T Tc ∂t 1 ∂2f ∂2f ⇒ c = −(−t + 1)Tc 2 2 ∼ . and Equation 3. (1. (1.22. Looking at our new term in F . but it will only ∂φ be helpful now since χ = ∂B |T . we can calculate critical exponents α. γ and δ. ∂T Tc ∂t 1 ∂2f ∂2f ⇒ c = −(t + 1)Tc 2 2 ∼ (for small t) .