Two particle irreducible effective actions (2PIEAs) are valuable nonperturbative techniques in quantum field theory; however, finite truncations of them violate the Ward identities (WIs) of theories with spontaneously broken symmetries. The symmetry improvement (SI) method of Pilaftsis and Teresi attempts to overcome this by imposing the WIs as constraints on the solution; however, the method suffers from the nonexistence of solutions in linear response theory and in certain truncations in equilibrium. Motivated by this, we introduce a new method called soft-symmetry improvement (SSI) which relaxes the constraint. Violations of WIs are allowed but punished in a least-squares implementation of the symmetry improvement idea. A new parameter ξ controls the strength of the constraint. The method interpolates between the unimproved (ξ →∞ ) and SI (ξ →0 ) cases, and the hope is that practically useful solutions can be found for finite ξ . We study the SSI 2PIEA for a scalar O (N ) model in the Hartree-Fock approximation. We find that the method is IR sensitive; the system must be formulated in finite volume V and temperature T =β-1 , and the V β →∞ limit must be taken carefully. Three distinct limits exist. Two are equivalent to the unimproved 2PIEA and SI 2PIEA respectively, and the third is a new limit where the WI is satisfied but the phase transition is strongly first order and solutions can fail to exist depending on ξ . Further, these limits are disconnected from each other; there is no smooth way to interpolate from one to another. These results suggest that any potential advantages of SSI methods, and indeed any application of (S)SI methods out of equilibrium, must occur in finite volume.
Physical Review D
- Pub Date:
- January 2017
- High Energy Physics - Theory
- Two ancillary Mathematica notebooks included: one for renormalization and one for solving the finite equations of motion. Uses pdflatex. 18 pages, 9 figures. Submitted to PRD. v2 changes: a number of stylistic improvements and a few references added