Preprint number: CP3-Origins-2016-57 DNRF90

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External link: arXiv.org

An important aspect of Weyl anomalies is that they encode information on the irreversibility of the renormalisation group flow. We consider, $\Delta \bar b = \bar{b}^{\textrm{UV}} – \bar{b}^{\textrm{IR}}$, the difference of the ultraviolet and infrared value of the $\Box R$-term of the Weyl anomaly. The quantity is related to the fourth moment of the trace of the energy momentum tensor correlator for theories which are conformal at both ends. Subtleties arise for non-conformal fixed points as might be the case for infrared fixed points with broken chiral symmetry. Provided that the moment converges, $\Delta \bar{b}$ is then automatically positive by unitarity. Written as an integral over the renormalisation scale, flow-independence follows since its integrand is a total derivative. Furthermore, using a momentum subtraction scheme (MOM) the 4D Zamolodchikov- metric is shown to be strictly positive beyond perturbation theory and equivalent to the metric of a conformal manifold at both ends of the flow. In this scheme $\bar{b}(\mu)$ can be extended outside the fixed point to a monotonically decreasing function. The ultraviolet finiteness of the fourth moment enables us to define a scheme for the $\delta {\cal L} \sim b_0 R^2$-term, for which the $R^2$-anomaly vanishes along the flow. In the MOM- and the $R^2$-scheme, $\bar{b}(\mu)$ is shown to satisfy a gradient flow type equation. We verify our findings in free field theories, higher derivative theories and extend $\Delta \bar{b}$ and the Euler flow $\Delta \beta_a$ for a Caswell-Banks-Zaks fixed point for QCD-like theories to next-to-next-to leading order using a recent $\langle G^2G^2 \rangle$-correlator computation.