Symmetry-improved CJT effective action

Apostolos Pilaftsis, Daniele Teresi

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The formalism introduced by Cornwall, Jackiw and Tomboulis (CJT) provides a systematic approach to consistently resumming non-perturbative effects in Quantum Thermal Field Theory. One major limitation of the CJT effective action is that its loopwise expansion introduces residual violations of possible global symmetries, thus giving rise to massive Goldstone bosons in the spontaneously broken phase of the theory. In this paper we develop a novel symmetry-improved CJT formalism for consistently encoding global symmetries in a loopwise expansion. In our formalism, the extremal solutions of the fields and propagators to a loopwise truncated CJT effective action are subject to additional constraints given by the Ward Identities due to global symmetries. By considering a simple O(2) scalar model, we show that, unlike other methods, our approach satisfies a number of important field-theoretic properties. In particular, we find that the Goldstone boson resulting from spontaneous symmetry breaking of O(2) is massless and the phase transition is a second-order one, already in the Hartree-Fock approximation. After taking the sunset diagrams into account, we show how our approach properly describes the threshold properties of the massless Goldstone boson and the Higgs particle in the loops. Finally, assuming minimal modifications to the Hartree-Fock approximated CJT effective action, we calculate the corresponding symmetry-improved CJT effective potential and discuss the conditions for its uniqueness for scalar-field values away from its minimum. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)594-619
    Number of pages25
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 11 Sept 2013


    • CJT formalism
    • Effective potential
    • Goldstone theorem
    • Phase transition


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