Scattering Amplitudes at KITP

I’ve been visiting the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics in Santa Barbara for a program on scattering amplitudes. This week they’re having a conference, so I don’t have time to say very much.

scamp-c17

The conference logo, on the other hand, seems to be saying quite a lot

We’ve had talks from a variety of corners of amplitudes, with major themes including the web of theories that can sort of be described by string theory-esque models, the amplituhedron, and theories you can “square” to get other theories. I’m excited about Zvi Bern’s talk at the end of the conference, which will describe the progress I talked about last week. There’s also been recent progress on understanding the amplituhedron, which I will likely post about in the near future.

We also got an early look at Whispers of String Theory, a cute short documentary filmed at the IGST conference.

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8 thoughts on “Scattering Amplitudes at KITP

    1. 4gravitonsandagradstudent Post author

      It’s interesting! It seems like the natural object for the job, but I don’t think they really understand it yet…in particular, while there’s a nice criterion that gets you from the amplituhedron to the amplitude, you can’t use the same criterion to get the correlator from the correlahedron. So something else must be going on.

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  1. Thoglu

    It’s really cool that you can watch these talks online.. 🙂 From my experimentalist-layman perspective it seems like several conceptual breakthroughs are happening right now. The Z-theory that was presented by Oliver Schlotterer seems intruiging, is that development brand-new? I have never heard that term before. Could you maybe write a piece about that eventually?
    Best,
    Thorsten

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  2. Thoglu

    Hey Mat,
    I have another question related to these reformulations of QFT. Are there indications that double-copy or other , e.g. the Amplituhedron picture, generalize to quantum mechanics, i.e. 0+1 QFT?
    I think Nima mentioned in one talk that standard wave functions also behave in a peculiar way, but I am not aware of anything else.
    Best,
    Thorsten

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    1. 4gravitonsandagradstudent Post author

      For some of these sorts of things, maybe, but probably not those two. Double-copy is pretty intimately tied to there being some momenta, I’m not sure what it would even mean in a QM context. For the Amplituhedron, you could probably put together some 0+1d teaching example (and I suspect that’s what Nima did), but again a lot of its structure is tied to the structure of kinematic space, in 0+1 it seems like there just wouldn’t be anything there.

      In general, order-by-order calculations in perturbative QM don’t have the sort of structure that lends itself to amplitudes-style improvements. For that, you really want to be looking at things nonperturbatively, so that things are complicated enough that you can actually say something interesting. So integrability people and resurgence people both tend to be able to do interesting things with QM, but amplitudes doesn’t generally.

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