Hierarchy problem and fine-tuning in a decoupling approach to multiscale effective potentials

S. Biondini, D. Boer, R. Peeters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Downloads (Pure)


In many realizations of beyond the Standard Model theories, new massive particles are introduced, leading to a multiscale system with widely separated energy scales. In this setting the Coleman-Weinberg effective potential, which describes the vacuum of the theory at the quantum level, has to be supplemented with a prescription to handle the hierarchy in mass scales. In any quantum field theory involving scalar fields and multiple, highly differing mass scales, it is, in general, not possible to choose a single renormalization scale that will remove all the large logarithms in the effective potential. In this paper, we focus on the so-called decoupling method, which freezes the effects of heavy particles on the renormalization group running of the light degrees of freedom at low energies. We study this for a simple two-scalar theory and find that, while the decoupling method leads to an acceptable and convergent effective potential, the method does not solve the fine-tuning problem that is inherent to the hierarchy problem of multiscale theories. We also consider an alternative implementation of the decoupling approach, which gives different results for the shape of the potential, but still leads to similar conclusions on the amount of fine-tuning in the model. We suggest a way to avoid running into this fine-tuning problem by adopting a prescription on how to fix parameters in such decoupling approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Article number036013
Number of pages12
JournalPhysical Review D
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1-Aug-2021

Cite this