Past Relativity Seminar

1 May 2018
12:00
to
13:15
Dr Sylvia Nagy
Abstract

I will present a procedure for perturbatively constructing the field content of gravitational theories from a convolutive product of two Yang-Mills theories. A dictionary "gravity=YM * YM" is developed, reproducing the symmetries and dynamics of the gravity theory from those of the YM theories. I will explain the unexpected, yet crucial role played by the BRST ghosts of the YM system in the construction of gravitational fields. The dictionary is expected to develop into a solution-generating technique for gravity.
 

6 March 2018
12:00
to
13:15
Dr Jake Bourjaily
Abstract

There have been enormous advances in both our ability to represent scattering amplitudes at the integrand-level (for an increasingly wide variety of quantum field theories), and also in our integration technology (and our understanding of the functions that result). In this talk, I review both sides of these recent developments. At the integrand-level, I describe the "prescriptive" refinement of generalized unitarity, and show how closed, integrand-level formulae can be given for all leading-weight contributions to any amplitude in any quantum field theory. Regarding integration, I describe some new results that could be summarized as "dual-conformal sufficiency": that all planar, ultraviolet-finite integrands can be regulated and computed directly in terms of manifestly dual-conformal integrals. I illustrate the power of having such representations, and discuss the role played by a (conjectural) cluster-algebraic structure for kinematic dependence. 

2 March 2018
12:00
to
13:15
Peter Hintz
Abstract

I will explain a new proof of the non-linear stability of the Minkowski spacetime as a solution of the Einstein vacuum equation. The proof relies on an iteration scheme at each step of which one solves a linear wave-type equation globally. The analysis takes place on a suitable compactification of $\mathbb{R}^4$ to a manifold with corners whose boundary hypersurfaces correspond to spacelike, null, and timelike infinity; I will describe how the asymptotic behavior of the metric can be deduced from the structure of simple model operators at these boundaries. This talk is based on joint work with András Vasy.

6 February 2018
12:00
to
13:15
James Drummond
Abstract


I will describe how to recast perturbative quantum gravity using non-perturbative techniques from conformal field theory, focussing on the case of N=4 super Yang-Mills theory. By resolving the degeneracy among double trace operators at large N we are able to bootstrap one-loop supergravity corrections from the OPE of the CFT.
 

23 January 2018
12:00
to
13:15
Eduardo Casali
Abstract

We study the winding mode sector of recently discovered string theories, which were, until now, believed to describe only conventional field theories in target space. We discover that upon compactification winding modes allows the string to acquire an oscillator spectrum giving rise to an infinite tower of massive higher-spin modes. We study the spectra, S-matrices, T-duality and high-energy behaviour of the bosonic and supersymmetric models. In the tensionless limit, we obtain formulae for amplitudes based on the scattering equations. The windings decouple from the scattering equations but remain in the integrands. The existence of this winding sector shows that these new theories do have stringy aspects and describe non-conventional field theories.  This talk is based on https://arxiv.org/abs/1710.01241.

5 December 2017
12:00
to
13:15
Kasper Larsen
Abstract

Scattering amplitudes computed at a fixed loop order, along with any other object computed in perturbative QFT, can be expressed as a linear combination of a finite basis of loop integrals. To compute loop amplitudes in practise, such a basis of integrals must be determined. In this talk I introduce a new algorithm for finding bases of loop integrals and discuss its implementation in the publically available package Azurite.

28 November 2017
12:00
to
13:15
Dhritiman Nandan
Abstract

I will discuss recent developments in the study of scattering amplitudes in Einstein-Yang-Mills theory. At tree level we find new structures at higher order collinear limits and novel connections with amplitudes in Yang-Mills theory using the CHY formalism. Finally I will comment on unitarity based observations regarding one-loop amplitudes in the theory. 

14 November 2017
12:00
to
13:15
Tim Adamo
Abstract

We consider two-dimensional chiral, first-order conformal field theories governing maps from the Riemann sphere to the projective light cone inside Minkowski space -- the natural setting for describing conformal field theories in two fewer dimensions. These theories have a SL(2) algebra of local bosonic constraints which can be supplemented by additional fermionic constraints depending on the matter content of the theory. By computing the BRST charge associated with gauge fixing these constraints, we find anomalies which vanish for specific target space dimensions. These critical dimensions coincide precisely with those for which (biadjoint) cubic scalar theory, gauge theory and gravity are classically conformally invariant. Furthermore, the BRST cohomology of each theory contains vertex operators for the full conformal multiplets of single field insertions in each of these space-time CFTs. We give a prescription for the computation of three-point functions, and compare our formalism with the scattering equations approach to on-shell amplitudes.

31 October 2017
12:00
to
13:15
Jean-Philippe Nicolas
Abstract

Superradiance in black hole spacetimes is a phenomenon by which a field of spin 0 or 1 can extract energy from the background. Typically, one can imagine sending a wave packet with a given energy towards a black hole and receiving in return a superposition of wave packets carrying a total amount of energy that is larger than the energy sent in. It can be caused by rotation or by interaction between the charges of the black hole and the field. In the first case, the region where superradiance takes place (the ergoregion) has a clear geometrical localization depending only on the physical parameters of the black hole. For charge induced superradiance, this is not the case and we have a generalized ergoregion depending also on the physical properties of the field (mass, charge, angular momentum). In the most severe cases, the generalized ergoregion may cover the whole exterior of the black hole. We focus on charge-induced superradiance for spin 0 fields in spherically symmetric situations. Alain Bachelot wrote a thorough theoretical study of this question in 2004, which, to my knowledge, is the only work of its kind. When I was in Bordeaux, he and I discussed the possibility of investigating superradiance numerically. Over the years it became an actual research project, involving Laurent Di Menza and more recently Mathieu Pellen, of which this talk is an account. The idea was to observe numerically some superradiant behaviours and gain a more precise understanding of the phenomenon. We shall show an exact analogue of the Penrose process with the superradiance of wave packets and a slightly different behaviour for fields "emerging" inside the ergoregion. We shall also explore the related question of black hole bombs and present some recent observations. 

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