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Title: Grassmannian Origin of Scattering Amplitudes
Authors: Trnka, Jaroslav
Advisors: Arkani-Hamed, Nima
Contributors: Physics Department
Keywords: Grassmannian
On-shell diagrams
Scattering Amplitudes
Subjects: Theoretical physics
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: Quantum field theory (QFT) is our central theoretical framework to describe the microscopic world, arising from the union of quantum mechanics and special relativity. Since QFTs play such a central role in our understanding of Nature, a deeper study of their physical properties is one of the most exciting directions of research in theoretical physics. This has led to the discovery of many important theoretical concepts, such as supersymmetry and string theory. One of the most prominent physical observable in any QFT is the scattering amplitude, which describes scattering processes of elementary particles. Theoretical progress in understanding and computing scattering amplitudes has accelerated in last few years with the discovery of amazing new mathematical structures in a close cousin of QCD, known as N=4 Super-Yang-Mills theory (SYM). In the first chapter we study integrands of loop amplitudes in planar N=4 SYM and show their astonishing simplicity when written in terms of special set of chiral integrals. In chapter two we show how to reconstruct the multi-loop integrand recursively starting from tree-level amplitudes. This approach makes the long-hidden Yangian symmetry of the theory completely manifest and provides a Lagrangian-independent approach for determining the integrand at any loop order. In chapter three we demonstrate that the problem of calculating of scattering amplitudes in planar N=4 SYM can be completely reformulated in a new framework in terms of on-shell diagrams and integrals over the positive Grassmannian G(k,n). Remarkably, the building blocks for amplitudes play a fundamental role in an active area of research in mathematics spanning algebraic geometry to combinatorics. In chapter four we sketch the argument that the amplitude itself is represented by a single geometrical object defined purely using a new striking property -- positivity -- and all physical concepts like unitarity and locality emerge as derived concepts, each having a sharp geometric interpretation.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Physics

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