Special High Energy Physics Seminar
Note special day and time.
Speaker: Nima Arkani-Hamed, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton
Title: “Scattering Amplitudes For All Masses and Spins”
Date: Wed, 08 Nov 2017, 10:00 am – 12:30 pm
Location: 1400 BPS Bldg.
We introduce a formalism for describing four-dimensional scattering amplitudes for particles of any mass and spin. This naturally extends the familiar spinor-helicity formalism for massless particles to one where these variables carry an extra SU(2) little group index for massive particles, with the amplitudes for spin S particles transforming as symmetric rank 2S tensors. We systematically characterise all possible three particle amplitudes compatible with Poincaré symmetry. Unitarity, in the form of consistent factorization, imposes algebraic conditions that can be used to construct all possible four-particle tree amplitudes. This also gives us a convenient basis in which to expand all possible four-particle amplitudes in terms of what can be called “spinning polynomials”. Many general results of quantum held theory follow the analysis of four-particle scattering, ranging from the set of all possible consistent theories for massless particles, to spin-statistics, and the Weinberg-Witten theorem. We also find a transparent understanding for why massive particles of sufficiently high spin can not be “elementary”. The Higgs and Super-Higgs mechanisms are naturally discovered as an infrared unification of many disparate helicity amplitudes into a smaller number of massive amplitudes, with a simple understanding for why this can't be extended to Higgsing for gravitons. We illustrate a number of applications of the formalism at one-loop, giving few-line computations of the electron (g−2) as well as the beta function and rational terms in QCD. “Off-shell” observables like correlation functions and form-factors can be thought of as scattering amplitudes with external “probe” particles of general mass and spin, so all these objects (amplitudes, form factors and correlators) can be studied from a common on-shell perspective.