A renormalization group study of supersymmetric field theories
This thesis analyses scalar supersymmetric field theories within the framework of the functional renormalization group (FRG). Classical physics on microscopic scales is connected to the effective model on macroscopic scales via the scale-dependent effective average action by a reformulation of the path integral. Three supersymmetric theories are explored in detail: supersymmetric quantum mechanics, the three-dimensional Wess-Zumino model and supersymmetric spherical theories in three dimensions. The corresponding renormalization group flow is formulated in a manifestly supersymmetric way. By utilizing an expansion of the effective average action in derivative operators, an adequate and intrinsically non-perturbative truncation scheme is selected. In quantum mechanics, the supersymmetric derivative expansion is shown to converge by increasing the order of truncation. Besides, high-accuracy results for the ground and first excited state energies for quantum systems with conserved as well as spontaneously broken supersymmetry are achieved. Furthermore, the critical behaviour of the three-dimensional Wess-Zumino is investigated. Via spectral methods, a global Wilson-Fisher scaling solution and its corresponding universal exponents are determined. Besides, a superscaling relation of the leading exponents is verified for arbitrary dimensions greater than or equal to two. Lastly, three-dimensional spherical, supersymmetric theories are analysed. Their phase structure is determined in detail for infinite as well as finitely many superfields. The exact one-parameter scaling solution for infinitely many fields is shown to collapse to a single non-trivial Wilson-Fisher fixed-point for finitely many superfields. It is pointed out that the strongly-coupled domains of these theories are plagued by Landau poles and non-analyticities, indicating spontaneous supersymmetry breaking.