TY - JOUR

T1 - Causality, analyticity and an IR obstruction to UV completion

AU - Adams, Allan

AU - Arkani-Hamed, Nima

AU - Dubovsky, Sergei

AU - Nicolis, Alberto

AU - Rattazzi, Riccardo

PY - 2006/10/1

Y1 - 2006/10/1

N2 - We argue that certain apparently consistent low-energy effective field theories described by local, Lorentz-invariant Lagrangians, secretly exhibit macroscopic non-locality and cannot be embedded in any UV theory whose S-matrix satisfies canonical analyticity constraints. The obstruction involves the signs of a set of leading irrelevant operators, which must be strictly positive to ensure UV analyticity. An IR manifestation of this restriction is that the "wrong" signs lead to superluminal fluctuations around non-trivial backgrounds, making it impossible to define local, causal evolution, and implying a surprising IR breakdown of the effective theory. Such effective theories can not arise in quantum field theories or weakly coupled string theories, whose S-matrices satisfy the usual analyticity properties. This conclusion applies to the DGP brane-world model modifying gravity in the IR, giving a simple explanation for the difficulty of embedding this model into controlled stringy backgrounds, and to models of electroweak symmetry breaking that predict negative anomalous quartic couplings for the W and Z. Conversely, any experimental support for the DGP model, or measured negative signs for anomalous quartic gauge boson couplings at future accelerators, would constitute direct evidence for the existence of superluminality and macroscopic non-locality unlike anything previously seen in physics, and almost incidentally falsify both local quantum field theory and perturbative string theory.

AB - We argue that certain apparently consistent low-energy effective field theories described by local, Lorentz-invariant Lagrangians, secretly exhibit macroscopic non-locality and cannot be embedded in any UV theory whose S-matrix satisfies canonical analyticity constraints. The obstruction involves the signs of a set of leading irrelevant operators, which must be strictly positive to ensure UV analyticity. An IR manifestation of this restriction is that the "wrong" signs lead to superluminal fluctuations around non-trivial backgrounds, making it impossible to define local, causal evolution, and implying a surprising IR breakdown of the effective theory. Such effective theories can not arise in quantum field theories or weakly coupled string theories, whose S-matrices satisfy the usual analyticity properties. This conclusion applies to the DGP brane-world model modifying gravity in the IR, giving a simple explanation for the difficulty of embedding this model into controlled stringy backgrounds, and to models of electroweak symmetry breaking that predict negative anomalous quartic couplings for the W and Z. Conversely, any experimental support for the DGP model, or measured negative signs for anomalous quartic gauge boson couplings at future accelerators, would constitute direct evidence for the existence of superluminality and macroscopic non-locality unlike anything previously seen in physics, and almost incidentally falsify both local quantum field theory and perturbative string theory.

KW - Beyond Standard Model

KW - Renormalization Group

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U2 - 10.1088/1126-6708/2006/10/014

DO - 10.1088/1126-6708/2006/10/014

M3 - Review article

AN - SCOPUS:33846125295

VL - 2006

JO - Journal of High Energy Physics

JF - Journal of High Energy Physics

SN - 1126-6708

IS - 10

M1 - 014

ER -