- Date: 15th century
- 1 : to change or alter in form, appearance, or nature and especially to a higher form
- 2 : to subject (as an element) to transmutation
In classical field theory such as gauge theory in four-dimensional spacetime, the coupling constant is a dimensionless constant. However, logarithmic divergences in one-loop diagrams imply that this "constant" actually depends on the typical energy scale of the processes under considerations. The "running" is determined by the beta-function and renormalization group.
Consequently, the strength of the interaction may be described by a dimensionful parameter, namely the energy scale where the interaction strength reaches the value 1. In the case of quantum chromodynamics, this energy scale is called the QCD scale and its value 150 MeV replaces the original dimensionless coupling constant.