Spontaneous chiral-symmetry breaking in three-dimensional QED

Thomas W. Appelquist, Mark Bowick, Dimitra Karabali, L. C.R. Wijewardhana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

376 Scopus citations


A detailed analysis is given of chiral-symmetry breaking in the large-flavor (N) limit of quantum electrodynamics in (2+1) dimensions. Analytical and numerical solutions of the homogeneous Dyson-Schwinger equation for the fermion self-energy combined with a computation of the effective potential for the fermion bilinear show that it is energetically preferable for the theory to dynamically generate a mass for fermions. The magnitude of the mass is roughly exponentially suppressed in N from the fundamental dimensionful scale N e2 of the gauge coupling constant, but the scale at which the self-mass begins to damp rapidly appears to be of order , so that there is no spontaneous breaking of an approximate scale invariance that the underlying theory possesses at momentum small compared to . Higher-order 1/N corrections are analyzed and it is shown that the 1/N expansion can be used consistently to demonstrate chiral-symmetry breaking. Open issues and possible improvements of the analysis are given and some avenues for future investigation suggested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3704-3713
Number of pages10
JournalPhysical Review D
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jan 1 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Spontaneous chiral-symmetry breaking in three-dimensional QED'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Appelquist, T. W., Bowick, M., Karabali, D., & Wijewardhana, L. C. R. (1986). Spontaneous chiral-symmetry breaking in three-dimensional QED. Physical Review D, 33(12), 3704-3713. https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevD.33.3704