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Phase Transitions and Renormalization Group$
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Jean Zinn-Justin

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199227198

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199227198.001.0001

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Quantum field theory and the renormalization group

Quantum field theory and the renormalization group

(p.1) 1 Quantum field theory and the renormalization group
Phase Transitions and Renormalization Group

Jean Zinn-Justin

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents a brief history of the origin and development of quantum field theory, and of the evolution of the interpretation of renormalization and the renormalization group which has led to our present understanding. This history has two aspects: one directly related to the theory of fundamental interactions that describes physics at the microscopic scale; and another one related to the theory of phase transitions in macroscopic physics and their universal properties. That two so vastly different domains of physics have required the development of the same theoretical framework is extremely surprising. It is one of the attractions of theoretical physics that such relations can sometimes be found.

Keywords:   quantum field theory, quantum electrodynamics, renormalization group, fundamental interactions, phase transitions

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