Conformal QED3 and the ε expansion

  • March 30, 2017, 2:30 pm US/Central
  • Wilson Hall, Curia II
  • Emmanuel Stamou, University of Chicago
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The theory of Quantum Electrodynamics in three dimensions (QED3) has received considerable attention due to its applications in condensed matter physics and due to its similarities with stongly coupled QCD-like theories in four dimensions. QED3 is strongly coupled at energies close to the gauge coupling that in this case is dimensionful. Whereas for a large number of fermions the theory appears to be conformal in the IR, it is far from clear whether the conformal phase endures also for small numbers of fermions. In this talk I discuss a new mechanism that may provide the necessary dynamics to induce the departure from conformality. The renormalization group flow generates a large scaling dimension to irrelevant operator making them dangerously relevant. In turn, their condensation may break the global symmetry of QED3 thus triggering the departure from conformality. I attempt to quantitatively access the mechanism using the ε expansion at one- and two-loop order.