The Problem of Renormalization of Chiral Nuclear Forces

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18 Scopus citations


Ever since quantum field theory was first applied to the derivation of nuclear forces in the mid-twentieth century, the renormalization of pion exchange with realistic couplings has presented a challenge. The implementation of effective field theories (EFTs) in the 1990s promised a solution to this problem but unexpected obstacles were encountered. The response of the nuclear community has been to focus on “chiral potentials” with regulators chosen to produce a good description of data. Meanwhile, a successful EFT without explicit pion exchange—Pionless EFT—has been formulated where renormalization is achieved order by order in a systematic expansion of low-energy nuclear observables. I describe how lessons from Pionless EFT are being applied to the construction of a properly renormalized Chiral EFT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number79
JournalFrontiers in Physics
StatePublished - May 5 2020


  • effective field theory
  • nuclear physics
  • pion exchange
  • renormalization
  • singular potentials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)
  • Mathematical Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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