Regular Article - Theoretical Physics
The conformal anomaly action to fourth order (4T) in in momentum space
Dipartimento di Matematica e Fisica, Università del Salento and INFN Sezione di Lecce, Via Arnesano, 73100, Lecce, Italy
2 Galileo Galilei Institute for Theoretical Physics, Largo Enrico Fermi 2, 50125, Florence, Italy
Accepted: 2 August 2021
Published online: 16 August 2021
We elaborate on the structure of the conformal anomaly effective action up to 4-th order, in an expansion in the gravitational fluctuations (h) of the background metric, in the flat spacetime limit. For this purpose we discuss the renormalization of 4-point functions containing insertions of stress-energy tensors (4T), in conformal field theories in four spacetime dimensions with the goal of identifying the structure of the anomaly action. We focus on a separation of the correlator into its transverse/traceless and longitudinal components, applied to the trace and conservation Ward identities (WI) in momentum space. These are sufficient to identify, from their hierarchical structure, the anomaly contribution, without the need to proceed with a complete determination of all of its independent form factors. Renormalization induces sequential bilinear graviton-scalar mixings on single, double and multiple trace terms, corresponding to interactions of the scalar curvature, with intermediate virtual massless exchanges. These dilaton-like terms couple to the conformal anomaly, as for the chiral anomalous WIs. We show that at 4T level a new traceless component appears after renormalization. We comment on future extensions of this result to more general backgrounds, with possible applications to non local cosmologies.
© The Author(s) 2021
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