Past Quantum Field Theory Seminar

21 November 2017
Alexander Strohmaier

I will review some classical results on geometric scattering
theory for linear hyperbolic evolution equations
on globally hyperbolic spacetimes and its relation to particle and charge
creation in QFT. I will then show that some index formulae for the
scattering matrix can be interpreted as a special case of the  Lorentzian
analog of the Atyiah-Patodi-Singer index theorem. I will also discuss a
local version of this theorem and its relation to anomalies in QFT.
(Joint work with C. Baer)

  • Quantum Field Theory Seminar
7 November 2017
Gabriele Veneziano

I will start with a quick reminder of what we have learned so far about
transplanckian-energy collisions of particles, strings and branes.
I will then address the (so-far unsolved) problem of gravitational
bremsstrahlung from massless particle collisions at leading order in the
gravitational deflection angle.
Two completely different calculations, one classical and one quantum, lead
to the same final, though somewhat puzzling, result.


  • Quantum Field Theory Seminar
24 October 2017
Kasia Rejzner

In this talk I will present recent results obtained within the
framework of perturbative algebraic quantum field theory. This novel
approach to mathematical foundations of quantum field theory allows to
combine the axiomatic framework of algebraic QFT by Haag and Kastler with
perturbative methods. Recently also non-perturbative results have been
obtained within this approach. I will report on these results and present
new perspectives that they open for better understanding of foundations of

  • Quantum Field Theory Seminar
17 October 2017
Jorma Louko

How long does a uniformly accelerated observer need to interact with a
quantum field in order to record thermality in the Unruh temperature?
In the limit of large excitation energy, the answer turns out to be
sensitive to whether (i) the switch-on and switch-off periods are
stretched proportionally to the total interaction time T, or whether
(ii) T grows by stretching a plateau in which the interaction remains
at constant strength but keeping the switch-on and switch-off
intervals of fixed duration. For a pointlike Unruh-DeWitt detector,
coupled linearly to a massless scalar field in four spacetime
dimensions and treated within first order perturbation theory, we show
that letting T grow polynomially in the detector's energy gap E
suffices in case (i) but not in case (ii), under mild technical
conditions. These results limit the utility of the large E regime as a

probe of thermality in time-dependent versions of the Hawking and
Unruh effects, such as an observer falling into a radiating black
hole. They may also have implications on the design of prospective
experimental tests of the Unruh effect.

Based on arXiv:1605.01316 (published in CQG) with Christopher J
Fewster and Benito A Juarez-Aubry.

  • Quantum Field Theory Seminar
13 June 2017
Roger Penrose

In the cosmological scheme of conformal cyclic cosmology (CCC), the equations governing the crossover form each aeon to the next demand the creation of a dominant new scalar material that is postulated to be dark matter. In order that this material does not build up from aeon to aeon, it is taken to decay away completely over the history of the aeon. The dark matter particles (erebons) would be expected to behave as essentially classical particles of around a Planck mass, interacting only gravitationally, and their decay would be mainly responsible for the (~scale invariant)

temperature fluctuations in the CMB of the succeeding aeon. In our own aeon, erebon decay ought to be detectable as impulsive events observable by gravitational wave detectors.

  • Quantum Field Theory Seminar
9 May 2017
Emery Sokatchev

We find a new duality  for form factors of lightlike Wilson loops
in planar N=4 super-Yang-Mills theory. The duality maps a form factor
involving a lightlike polygonal super-Wilson loop together with external
on-shell states, to the same type of object  but with the edges of the
Wilson loop and the external states swapping roles.  This relation can
essentially be seen graphically in Lorentz harmonic chiral (LHC) superspace
where it is equivalent to planar graph duality.

  • Quantum Field Theory Seminar
2 May 2017

In 1997, Maxim Kontsevich gave a universal formula for the
quantization of Poisson brackets.  It can be viewed as a perturbative
expansion in a certain two-dimensional topological field theory.  While the
formula is explicit, it is currently impossible to compute in all but the
simplest cases, not least because the values of the relevant Feynman
integrals are unknown.  In forthcoming joint work with Peter Banks and Erik
Panzer, we use Francis Brown's approach to the periods of the moduli space
of genus zero curves to give an algorithm for the computation of these
integrals in terms of multiple zeta values.  It allows us to calculate the
terms in the expansion on a computer for the first time, giving tantalizing
evidence for several open conjectures concerning the convergence and sum of
the series, and the action of the Grothendieck-Teichmuller group by gauge

  • Quantum Field Theory Seminar
14 March 2017
Guo Chuan Thiang

The "Weyl fermion" was discovered in a topological semimetal in
2015. Its mathematical characterisation turns out to involve deep and subtle
results in differential topology. I will outline this theory, and explain
some connections to Euler structures, torsion of manifolds,
and Seiberg-Witten invariants. I also propose interesting generalisations
with torsion topological charges arising from Kervaire semicharacteristics
and ``Quaternionic'' characteristic classes.

  • Quantum Field Theory Seminar