Past Quantum Field Theory Seminar

2 February 2016
Dirk Kreimer (Berlin)

Amplitudes in quantum field theory have discontinuities when regarded as
functions of
the scattering kinematics. Such discontinuities can be determined from
Cutkosky rules.
We present a structural analysis of such rules for massive quantum field
theory which combines
algebraic geometry with the combinatorics of Karen Vogtmann's Outer Space.
This is joint work with Spencer Bloch (arXiv:1512.01705).

  • Quantum Field Theory Seminar
1 December 2015
Ivette Fuentes

Hawking radiation and particle creation by an expanding Universe
are paradigmatic predictions of quantum field theory in curved spacetime.
Although the theory is a few decades old, it still awaits experimental
demonstration. At first sight, the effects predicted by the theory are too
small to be measured in the laboratory. Therefore, current experimental
efforts have been directed towards siumlating Hawking radiation and
studying quantum particle creation in analogue spacetimes.
In this talk, I will present a proposal to test directly effects of
quantum field theory in the Earth's spacetime using quantum technologies.
Under certain circumstances, real spacetime distortions (such as
gravitational waves) can produce observable effects in the state of
phonons of a Bose-Einstein condensate. The sensitivity of the phononic
field to the underlying spacetime can also be used to measure spacetime
parameters such as the Schwarzschild radius of the Earth.

  • Quantum Field Theory Seminar
2 June 2015
Sylvie Paycha (Potsdam)

[based on joint work with Li Guo and  Bin Zhang]

 We apply to  the study of exponential sums on lattice points in
convex rational polyhedral cones, the generalised algebraic approach of
Connes and Kreimer to  perturbative quantum field theory.  For this purpose
we equip the space of    cones   with a connected coalgebra structure.
The  algebraic Birkhoff factorisation of Connes and Kreimer   adapted  and
generalised to this context then gives rise to a convolution factorisation
of exponential sums on lattice points in cones. We show that this
factorisation coincides with the classical Euler-Maclaurin formula
generalised to convex rational polyhedral cones by Berline and Vergne by
means of  an interpolating holomorphic function.
We define  renormalised conical zeta values at non-positive integers as the
Taylor coefficients at zero of the interpolating holomorphic function.  When
restricted to Chen cones, this  yields yet another way to renormalise
multiple zeta values  at non-positive integers.


  • Quantum Field Theory Seminar
17 February 2015
John Cardy

In a quantum quench, a system is prepared in some state
$|\psi_0\rangle$, usually the ground state of a hamiltonian $H_0$, and then
evolved unitarily with a different hamiltonian $H$. I study this problem
when $H$ is a 1+1-dimensional conformal field theory on a large circle of
length $L$, and the initial state has short-range correlations and
entanglement. I argue that (a) for times $\ell/2<t<(L-\ell)/2$  the
reduced density matrix of a subinterval of length $\ell$ is exponentially
close to that of a thermal ensemble; (b) despite this, for a rational CFT
the return amplitude $\langle\psi_0|e^{-iHt}|\psi_0\rangle$ is $O(1)$ at
integer multiples of $2t/\ell$ and has interesting structure at all rational
values of this ratio. This last result is related to the modular properties
of Virasoro characters.

  • Quantum Field Theory Seminar