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Renormalization: Our Greatly Misunderstood Friend

Andrew E. Blechman

Presentation Date: September 17, 2002


This is a web-paper write-up for a talk I gave for Intermediate Seminar at Johns Hopkins Unversity (172.711-712). I will present a friendly, although slightly technical introduction to the theory of renormalization. Examples from nonrelativistic quantum mechanics and quantum electrodynamics will serve to introduce the concepts. The ``Algorithm of Renormalization'' will then be presented and explored. Finally, I will present an overview of Wilson's Renormalization Group, and show how we can make the ideas in this paper surprisingly quantitative.

 Table of Contents

The Intermediate Seminar at Johns Hopkins University's Physics and Astronomy Deptartment is a year long seminar taken by all second-year graduate students.  The requirements change on a yearly basis, but my requirements included a twenty minute talk and a fourty-five minute talk.  The first talk I am publising here as a web article.  The second talk can be found as a paper here.  As this seminar is for graduate students in physics and astronomy, there are some technical details in these papers, and some of the talk is quite formal.  I will do my best here to be as clear as possible to the general public, although I'm assuming you know a little quanum mechanics.

Also included on this website are the original slides for this talk.  Feel free to have a look at them and follow along in the paper.

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