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Open Access item Pinch technique: Theory and applications

Authors:Papavassiliou, Joannis
Binosi, D.
Keywords:Non-Abelian gauge theories, Gluons, Gauge bosons, Gauge-invariance, Schwinger–Dyson equations, Greens functions, Dynamical mass generation
Issue Date:Aug-2009
Publisher:Elsevier
Citation:Physics Reports 479 (1-6): 1-152 (2009)
Abstract:We review the theoretical foundations and the most important physical applications of the Pinch Technique (PT). This general method allows the construction of off-shell Green’s functions in non-Abelian gauge theories that are independent of the gauge-fixing parameter and satisfy ghost-free Ward identities. We first present the diagrammatic formulation of the technique in QCD, deriving, at one loop, the gauge independent gluon self-energy, quark–gluon vertex, and three-gluon vertex, together with their Abelian Ward identities. The generalization of the PT to theories with spontaneous symmetry breaking is carried out in detail, and the profound connection with the optical theorem and the dispersion relations are explained within the electroweak sector of the Standard Model. The equivalence between the PT and the Feynman gauge of the Background Field Method (BFM) is elaborated, and the crucial differences between the two methods are critically scrutinized. A variety of field theoretic techniques needed for the generalization of the PT to all orders are introduced, with particular emphasis on the Batalin–Vilkovisky quantization method and the general formalism of algebraic renormalization. The main conceptual and technical issues related to the extension of the technique beyond one loop are described, using the two-loop construction as a concrete example. Then the all-order generalization is thoroughly examined, making extensive use of the field theoretic machinery previously introduced; of central importance in this analysis is the demonstration that the PT-BFM correspondence persists to all orders in perturbation theory. The extension of the PT to the non-perturbative domain of the QCD Schwinger–Dyson equations is presented systematically, and the main advantages of the resulting self-consistent truncation scheme are discussed. A plethora of physical applications relying on the PT are finally reviewed, with special emphasis on the definition of gauge-independent off-shell form-factors, the construction of non-Abelian effective charges, the gauge-invariant treatment of resonant transition amplitudes and unstable particles, and finally the dynamical generation of an effective gluon mass.
Publisher version (URL):http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.physrep.2009.05.001
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/10261/20634
ISSN:0370-1573
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