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The Surprising Simplicity of Scattering Amplitudes

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Francesca Chadha-Day.

Quantum field theory is the modern manifestation of “force equals mass times acceleration”: it is the underlying, mathematical framework in which understand and describe physical laws—from the most fundamental to the merely effective and approximate.

While the foundations of the subject have been in place for more than a half-century, the way we understand, teach, and use quantum field theory is rapidly changing—fueled by a desire to explain an embarrassing disconnect between the difficulty of making predictions for experiment and the near-universal simplicity of the predictions we ultimately make.

In this talk, I illustrate the ubiquity and depth of this simplicity, and describe some of the recent progress that has been made to make it less surprising (to the theorists doing the calculations). Much of these developments have been made in the context of especially simple quantum field theories, but the lessons learned often have much wider applications. I outline several of these recent developments, and discuss the concrete roads ahead.

This talk is part of the Theoretical Physics Colloquium series.

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