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Concept# Non-linear sigma model

Summary

In quantum field theory, a nonlinear σ model describes a scalar field Σ which takes on values in a nonlinear manifold called the target manifold T. The non-linear σ-model was introduced by , who named it after a field corresponding to a spinless meson called σ in their model. This article deals primarily with the quantization of the non-linear sigma model; please refer to the base article on the sigma model for general definitions and classical (non-quantum) formulations and results.
The target manifold T is equipped with a Riemannian metric g. Σ is a differentiable map from Minkowski space M (or some other space) to T.
The Lagrangian density in contemporary chiral form is given by
where we have used a + − − − metric signature and the partial derivative ∂Σ is given by a section of the jet bundle of T×M and V is the potential.
In the coordinate notation, with the coordinates Σa, a = 1, ..., n where n is the dimension of T,
In more than two dimensions, nonlinear σ models contain a dimensionful coupling constant and are thus not perturbatively renormalizable.
Nevertheless, they exhibit a non-trivial ultraviolet fixed point of the renormalization group both in the lattice formulation and in the double expansion originally proposed by Kenneth G. Wilson.
In both approaches, the non-trivial renormalization-group fixed point found for the O(n)-symmetric model is seen to simply describe, in dimensions greater than two, the critical point separating the ordered from the disordered phase. In addition, the improved lattice or quantum field theory predictions can then be compared to laboratory experiments on critical phenomena, since the O(n) model describes physical Heisenberg ferromagnets and related systems. The above results point therefore to a failure of naive perturbation theory in describing correctly the physical behavior of the O(n)-symmetric model above two dimensions, and to the need for more sophisticated non-perturbative methods such as the lattice formulation.
This means they can only arise as effective field theories.

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Non-linear sigma model

In quantum field theory, a nonlinear σ model describes a scalar field Σ which takes on values in a nonlinear manifold called the target manifold T. The non-linear σ-model was introduced by , who named it after a field corresponding to a spinless meson called σ in their model. This article deals primarily with the quantization of the non-linear sigma model; please refer to the base article on the sigma model for general definitions and classical (non-quantum) formulations and results.

Sigma model

In physics, a sigma model is a field theory that describes the field as a point particle confined to move on a fixed manifold. This manifold can be taken to be any Riemannian manifold, although it is most commonly taken to be either a Lie group or a symmetric space. The model may or may not be quantized. An example of the non-quantized version is the Skyrme model; it cannot be quantized due to non-linearities of power greater than 4. In general, sigma models admit (classical) topological soliton solutions, for example, the Skyrmion for the Skyrme model.

Lagrangian (field theory)

Lagrangian field theory is a formalism in classical field theory. It is the field-theoretic analogue of Lagrangian mechanics. Lagrangian mechanics is used to analyze the motion of a system of discrete particles each with a finite number of degrees of freedom. Lagrangian field theory applies to continua and fields, which have an infinite number of degrees of freedom.

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