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2 - ‘In-Out’ Effective Action. Dimensional Regularization

from Part I - Effective Action and Regularization, Stress Tensor and Fluctuations

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2020

Bei-Lok B. Hu
Affiliation:
University of Maryland, College Park
Enric Verdaguer
Affiliation:
Universitat de Barcelona
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Summary

This chapter presents the familiar Schwinger–DeWitt effective action in the ‘in-out’ formalism, suitable for the computation of S-matrix scattering or transition amplitudes. The effective action method is well suited to the treatment of backreaction problems for quantum processes in dynamical background spacetimes, as it yields equations of motion for both the quantum field and the spacetime in a self-consistent way. In the second part, after a quick refresh of basic field theory and quantum fields in curved spacetime, we construct the ‘in-out’ effective action of an interacting quantum field and apply it to the effects of particle creation and interaction in the Friedmann–Lemaitre–Robertson–Walker universe. We illustrate how dimensional regularization is implemented. The third part treats the case where changes in the background spacetime and fields are gradual enough that one can perform a derivative expansion beyond the constant background, introduce momentum space representation for the propagators and obtain a quasi-local effective action in a closed form. The fourth part discusses dimensional regularization and the derivation of renormalization group equations, using the Phi-4 theory as an example.

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Chapter
Information
Semiclassical and Stochastic Gravity
Quantum Field Effects on Curved Spacetime
, pp. 37 - 78
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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