Determining matrix elements and resonance widths from finite volume: The dangerous μ-terms

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The standard numerical approach to determining matrix elements of local operators and width of resonances uses the finite volume dependence of energy levels and matrix elements. Finite size corrections that decay exponentially in the volume are usually neglected or taken into account using perturbation expansion in effective field theory. Using two-dimensional sine-Gordon field theory as "toy model" it is shown that some exponential finite size effects could be much larger than previously thought, potentially spoiling the determination of matrix elements in frameworks such as lattice QCD. The particular class of finite size corrections considered here are μ-terms arising from bound state poles in the scattering amplitudes. In sine-Gordon model, these can be explicitly evaluated and shown to explain the observed discrepancies to high precision. It is argued that the effects observed are not special to the two-dimensional setting, but rather depend on general field theoretic features that are common with models relevant for particle physics. It is important to understand these finite size corrections as they present a potentially dangerous source of systematic errors for the determination of matrix elements and resonance widths.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113
JournalJournal of High Energy Physics
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Dec 28 2011



  • Bethe Ansatz
  • Exact S-Matrix
  • Field Theories in Lower Dimensions
  • Integrable Field Theories

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics

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