# Past Relativity Seminar

Amplitudes in planar N=4 SYM are dual to light-like polygonal Wilson-loop expectation values. In many cases their perturbative expansion can be expressed in terms of multiple polylogarithms which also obey certain single-valuedness conditions or branch cut restrictions. The rigidity of this function space, together with a few other conditions, allows one to construct the six-point amplitude -- or hexagonal Wilson loop -- through at least five loops, and the seven-point amplitude through 3.5 loops. Then one can "fold" the polygonal Wilson loops into multiple degenerate configurations, expressing the limiting behavior in terms of simpler function spaces, and learning in the process about how amplitudes factorize.

After a brief review of holographic features of general relativity in 3 and 4 dimensions, I will show how to derive the transformation laws of the Bondi mass and angular momentum aspects under finite supertranslations, superrotations and complex Weyl rescalings.

The Feynman diagram expansion of scattering amplitudes in perturbative superstring theory can be written (for closed strings) as a series of integrals over compactified moduli spaces of Riemann surfaces with marked points, indexed by the genus. Therefore in genus 0 it is reasonable to find, as it often happens in QFT computations, periods of M_{0,N}, which are known to be multiple zeta values. In this talk I want to report on recent advances in the genus 1 amplitude, which are related to the development of 2 different generalizations of classical multiple zeta values, namely elliptic multiple zeta values and conical sums.

In this talk I will present a class of super-Wilson loops in N=4 super Yang-Mills theory. The expectation value of these operators has been shown previously to be invariant under a Yangian symmetry. I will show how the kinematics of such super-Wilson loops can be described in a twistorial way and how this leads to compact, manifestly super-conformal invariant expressions for some two-point functions.

I will survey of some of the many significant connections between integrable many-body physics and mathematics. I exploit an algebraic structure called a fusion category, familiar from the study of conformal field theory, topological quantum field theory and knot invariants. Rewriting statistical-mechanical models in terms of a fusion category allows the derivation of combinatorial identities for the Tutte polynomial, the analysis of discrete ``holomorphic'' observables in probability, and to defining topological defects in lattice models. I will give a little more detail on topological defects, explaining how they allows exact computations of conformal-field-theory quantities directly on the lattice, as well as a greatly generalised set of duality transformations.

I review work done in collaboration with Siegel and Zwiebach, in which a doubled geometry is developed that provides a spacetime action containing the standard gravity theory for graviton, Kalb-Ramond field and dilaton plus higher-derivative corrections. In this framework the T-duality O(d,d) invariance is manifest and exact to all orders in $\alpha'$. This theory by itself does not correspond to a standard string theory, but it does encode the Green-Schwarz deformation characteristic of heterotic string theory to first order in $\alpha'$ and a Riemann-cube correction to second order in $\alpha'$. I outline how this theory may be extended to include arbitrary string theories.

The CHY formulae are a set of remarkable formulae describing the scattering amplitudes of a variety of massless theories, as certain worldsheet integrals, localized on the solutions to certain polynomial equations (scattering equations). These formulae arise from a new class of holomorphic strings called Ambitwistor strings that encode exactly the dynamics of the supergravity (Yang-Mills) modes of string theory. Despite some recent progress by W. Siegel and collaborators, it remains as an open question as to what extent this theory was connected to the full string theory. The most mysterious point being certainly that the localization equations of the ambitwistor string also appear in the zero tension limit of string theory (alpha’ to infinity), which is the opposite limit than the supergravity one (alpha’ to zero). In this talk, I’ll report on some work in progress with E. Casali (Math. Inst. Oxford) and argue that the ambitwistor string is actually a tensionless string. Using some forgotten results on the quantization of these objects, we explain that the quantization of tensionless strings is ambiguous, and can lead either to a higher spin theory, or to the ambitwistor string, hence solving the previously mentioned paradox. In passing, we see that the degenerations of the tensile worldsheet that lead to tensionless strings make connection with Galilean Conformal Algebras and the (3d) BMS algebra.

Loop computations put the 'quantum' into quantum field theory. Much effort has focused on their structure and properties, with most spectacular progress in maximally supersymmetric gauge theories in the planar limit. These theories are however quite far from reality as described for instance in the standard model of particle physics. In this talk I'll report on ongoing work using BCFW on-shell recursion to obtain loop amplitude integrands in a much more realistic theory, pure Yang-Mills theory, using methods which apply directly to the standard model.