Quadratic divergences and quantum gravitational contributions to gauge coupling constants

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Author(s)Toms DJ
Publication type Article
JournalPhysical Review D
ISSN (print)1550-7998
ISSN (electronic)1089-4918
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The calculation of quadratic divergences in Einstein-Maxwell theory with a possible cosmological constant is considered. We describe a method of calculation, using the background-field method, that is sensitive to quadratic divergences, is respectful of gauge invariance, and is independent of gauge conditions. A standard renormalization group analysis is applied to the result where it is shown that the quadratic divergences do lead to asymptotic freedom as found in the original paper of Robinson and Wilczek. The role and nature of these quadratic divergences is critically evaluated in light of recent criticism. Within the context of the background-field method, it is shown that it is possible to define the charge in a physically motivated way in which the quadratic divergences do not play a role. This latter view is studied in more depth in a toy model described in an appendix.
PublisherAmerican Physical Society
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