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Scattering on plane waves and the double copy

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr. Carl Turner.

In recent years, many new techniques have been developed which lead to remarkable insights into perturbative QFT . By-and-large, these techniques have only been applied to the computation of observables on flat backgrounds, so one can legitimately question whether they are robust features of perturbative QFT or just a consequence of the simplicity of Minkowski space. One such technique is the ‘double copy,’ a method for constructing scattering amplitudes in gravity from scattering amplitudes in gauge theory; it even has a catchy slogan, Gravity = (Gauge Theory)^2. In this talk I’ll describe how the robustness of the double copy can be tested by considering scattering on plane wave backgrounds. Although the non-trivial scattering background introduces several subtleties, we’ll see that a notion of double copy persists. Time permitting, I’ll also mention how these new scattering problems can be studied using worldsheet models known as ‘ambitwistor strings.’

This talk is part of the Quantum Fields and Strings Seminars series.

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