Quantum field theory and scattering amplitudes

What are the basic building blocks of Nature? What forces hold them together? These questions are at the heart of elementary particle physics. Theoretical physicists study and explore how to describe elementary particles and their interactions. There are several concrete hints that tell us that we currently know only part of the puzzle.

In order to explore what pieces are missing, and to get hints for completing the picture, it is paramount to get clues from experimental observations. The scientific approach is to compare experimental data to theoretical predictions. Obtaining the latter requires understanding of quantum field theory, which underpins the model for the known elementary particles and their interactions.

The Amplitudes research field focuses on understanding and computing probabilities of scattering processes in quantum field theory. The later are the essential building blocks for cross-sections that can be measured at particle colliders, such as the LHC at CERN, Geneva.

Apart from their phenomenological interest, scattering amplitudes also have intriguing mathematical properties. They satisfy a number of physical conditions, and have obvious and hidden symmetries. In some situations, the amplitudes can be uniquely determined from their symmetry and analytic properties. Many modern methods of computing them are based on such structural insights.

Key words for specific research directions of the group:

  • Scattering amplitudes of elementary particles
  • Feynman integrals, differential equations, and special functions
  • Infrared divergences in quantum field theory
  • Conformal symmetry and supersymmetry
  • AdS/CFT correspondence, N=4 super Yang-Mills

Quantum field theory at the MPP

 Prof. Dr. Johannes Henn and Dr. Babette Döbrich (Photos: A. Griesch/MPP; privat))

Funding in the millions for two projects in particle physics

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Artwork: Josh Worth

Workshop "Current Topics in Fundamental Physics" on 16 August

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Cluster algebras are interconnected sets of formulas. They were developed from “toy models”, and used for a genuine quantum field theory for the first time. (Graphic: Carolin Leyck)

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Theoretical particle physicists sometimes compare Feynman integrals to “wild beasts”. Three physicists have now succeeded in partially taming these wild beasts with the help of mathematics. Their scientific achievement should make theoretical…

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Feynman diagrams transformed to artwork. They mathematically describe the particle collisions.

High five: Physicists succeed in calculating five-particle scattering processes in collision experiments

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Professor Dr. Johannes Henn

Johannes Henn appointed as a new Director at Max-Planck-Institute for Physics

Theoretical physicist Johannes M. Henn has been appointed as a new Director at the Max Planck Institute for Physics. The 37-year-old scientist conducts research into scattering amplitudes, which are used for the precise description of accelerator…

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E-mail address: e-mail@mpp.mpg.de
Phone number: +49 89 32354-extension
name function e-mail extension office
Calisto, Francesco Student fcalisto 334 A.3.66
Carrôlo, Sérgio PhD Student scarrolo 201 A.3.73
Ditsch, Sara Student ditsch 293 A.3.52
Henn, Johannes, Prof. Dr. Director henn 420 A.3.51
Kuo, Chia-Kai, Dr. Postdoc ckkuai 200 A.3.54
Lim, Jungwon PhD Student wonlim 317 A.3.52
López-Falcón, Diana, Dr. Scientific Coordinator dlf 427 A.3.77
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Ohrberg Schreiber, Anders, Dr. Postdoc ohrbergs 427 A.3.50
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Salvatori, Giulio, Dr. Postdoc giulios 200 A.3.89
Scholtes, Sorana Communication & Outreach scholtes 434 A.3.09
Vazão, Francisco PhD Student fvvazao 200 A.3.89
Weber, Vera Secretary vweber 334 A.3.47
Willen, Aaron Student willen 334 A.3.73
Zhang, Shun-Qing, Dr. Postdoc sqzhang 405 A.3.87