Past Relativity Seminar

22 July 2015
12:00
Claude LeBrun
Abstract
Given a smooth compact 4-manifold M  which admits Einstein metrics, is its moduli space of Einstein metrics connected?  While the corresponding question in higher dimensions typically has a negative answer, there are interesting 4-manifolds M for which the answer is known to be affirmative. One important class of 4-manifolds for which we do not know the answer, however,  consists of the underlying 4-manifolds of the del Pezzo surfaces. In this lecture, I will explain a  result which provides interesting partial information concerning this case. 
16 June 2015
12:00
Chris White
Abstract
The study of infrared singularities, due to the emission of “soft” (low momentum) gauge bosons, remains a highly active research area in a variety of quantum field theories. After motivating both phenomenological and formal reasons as to why we should care about IR singularities, this talk will review their structure in QED, QCD and quantum gravity, examining the similarities and differences between these three contexts. The role of Wilson lines will be examined, which provide a useful unifying language. Finally, I will examine recent work on moving beyond the soft approximation, and why this might be useful.
10 March 2015
12:00
to
13:30
Abstract

A systematic understanding of the low energy limit of string theory scattering amplitudes is essential for conceptual and practical reasons. In this talk, I shall report on a work where this limit has been analyzed using tropical geometry. Our result is that the field theory amplitudes arising in the low energy limit of string theory are written in a very compact form as integrals over a single object, the tropical moduli space. This picture provides a general framework where the different aspects of the low energy limit of string theory scattering amplitudes are systematically encompassed; the Feynman graph structure and the ultraviolet regulation mechanism. I shall then give examples of application of the formalism, in particular at genus two, and discuss open issues.

No knowledge of tropical geometry will be assumed and the topic shall be introduced during the talk.

24 February 2015
12:00
Cyril Closset
Abstract

I will present a systematic approach to two-dimensional N=(2,2) supersymmetric gauge theories in curved space, with a particular focus on the two-dimensional Omega deformation. I will explain how to compute Omega-deformed A-type topological correlation functions in purely field theoretic terms (i.e. without relying on a target-space picture), improving on previous techniques. The resulting general formula simplifies previous results in the Abelian (toric) case, while it leads to new results for non-Abelian GLSMs.

10 February 2015
12:00
Susama Agarwala
Abstract
In this talk, I develop the Hopf algebra of renormalization, as established by Connes and Kreimer. I then use the correspondence between commutative Hopf algebras and affine groups to show that the energy scale dependence of the renormalized theory can be expressed as a Maurer Cartan connection on the renormalization group.
27 January 2015
12:00
Abstract

In this talk I am going to discuss our recent and on-going work on an integral representation of tree-level S-matrices for massless particles. Starting from the formula for gravity amplitudes, I will introduce three operations acting on the integrand that produce compact and closed formulas for amplitudes in various other theories of massless bosons. In particular these includes Yang-Mills coupled to gravity, (Dirac)-Born-Infeld, U(N) non-linear sigma model, and Galileon theory. The main references are arXiv:1409.8256, arXiv:1412.3479.

18 November 2014
12:00
Dr Leron Borsten
Abstract
A recurring theme in attempts to understand the quantum theory of gravity is the idea of "Gravity as the square of Yang-Mills". In recent years this idea has been met with renewed energy, principally driven by a string of discoveries uncovering intriguing and powerful identities relating gravity and gauge scattering amplitudes. In an effort to develop this program further, we explore the relationship between both the global and local symmetries of (super)gravity and those of (super) Yang-Mills theories squared. 

In the context of global symmetries we begin by giving a unified description of D=3 super-Yang-Mills theory with N=1, 2, 4, 8 supersymmeties in terms of the four division algebras: reals, complex, quaternions and octonions. On taking the product of these multiplets we obtain a set of D=3 supergravity theories with global symmetries (U-dualities) belonging to the Freudenthal magic square: “division algebras squared” = “Yang-Mills squared”! By generalising to D=3,4,6,10 we uncover a magic pyramid of Lie algebras.

We then turn our attention to local symmetries. Regarding gravity as the convolution of left and right Yang-Mills theories together with a spectator scalar field in the bi-adjoint representation, we derive in linearised approximation the gravitational symmetries of general covariance, p-form gauge invariance, local Lorentz invariance and local supersymmetry from the flat space Yang-Mills symmetries of local gauge invariance and global super-Poincaré. As a concrete example we focus on the new-minimal (12+12, N=1) off-shell version four-dimensional supergravity obtained by tensoring the off-shell (super) Yang-Mills multiplets (4+4, N =1) and (3+0, N =0).

Pages