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Resurgence at work in the principal chiral model

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I will discuss the physical role of non-perturbative saddle points of path integrals in theories without instantons, using the example of the asymptotically free two-dimensional principal chiral model (PCM). Standard topological arguments based on homotopy considerations suggest no role for non-perturbative saddles in such theories. However, resurgence theory, which unifies perturbative and non-perturbative physics, predicts the existence of several types of non-perturbative saddles associated with features of the large-order structure of perturbation theory. These points are illustrated in the PCM , where we found new non-perturbative `fracton’ saddle point field configurations, and give a quantum interpretation of previously discovered `uniton’ unstable classical solutions. The fractons lead to a semi-classical realization of IR renormalons in the circle-compactified theory, and yield the microscopic mechanism of the mass gap of the PCM .

This talk is part of the Quantum Fields and Strings Seminars series.

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