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Unraveling duality violations in hadronic tau decays

Abstract

There are some indications from recent determinations of the strong coupling constant alpha_s and the gluon condensate that the Operator Product Expansion may not be accurate enough to describe non-perturbative effects in hadronic tau decays. This breakdown of the Operator Product Expansion is usually referred to as being due to "Duality Violations." With the help of a physically motivated model, we investigate these duality violations. Based on this model, we argue how they may introduce a non-negligible systematic error in the current analysis, which employs finite-energy sum rules with pinched weights. In particular, this systematic effect might affect the precision determination of alpha_s from tau decays. With a view to a possible future application to real data, we present an alternative method for determining the OPE coefficients that might help estimating, and possibly even reducing, this systematic error.

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