Who you gonna call? Runaway ghosts, higher derivatives and time-dependence in EFTs Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • We briefly review the formulation of effective field theories (EFTs) in time-dependent situations, with particular attention paid to their domain of validity. Our main interest is the extent to which solutions of the EFT capture the dynamics of the full theory. For a simple model we show by explicit calculation that the low-energy action obtained from a sensible UV completion need not take the restrictive form required to obtain only second-order field equations, and we clarify why runaway solutions are nevertheless typically not a problem for the EFT. Although our results will not be surprising to many, to our knowledge they are only mentioned tangentially in the EFT literature, which (with a few exceptions) largely addresses time-independent situations.

publication date

  • August 2014