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

News Releases


What holds the world together? Prof. Nima Arkani-Hamed, theoretical physicist from the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS), Princeton, and Prof. Armin Nassehi, sociologist from LMU München, give answers to this question – and a glimpse into the future of science.

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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 calculations of particle collisions considerably easier.

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Theoretical particle physicists are not particularly well known for their simplicity but rather for their complex research field. Yet simplicity is exactly what particle physicists strive for. The researchers in the quantum field theory group led by Prof. Dr. Johannes Henn at the Max Planck…

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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 experiments. Henn is one of the world's leading…

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Group members

E-mail address: e-mail@mpp.mpg.de
Phone number: +49 89 32354-extension
name function e-mail extension office
Benincasa, Paolo, Dr. Senior Scientist pbeninca 284 303
Ditsch, Sara Student ditsch 293 Bibliothek
Flieger, Wojciech, Dr. Postdoc flieger 427 336
Henn, Johannes, Prof. Dr. Director henn 420 320
Kudrin, Vera Secretary vkudrin 334 308
Lim, Jungwon PhD Student wonlim 317 335
Manashov, Alexander, Dr. Postdoc manashov 405 334
Matijašić, Antonela PhD Student amatijas 201 327
Miczajka, Julian, Dr. Postdoc miczajka 405 334
Ohrberg Schreiber, Anders, Dr. Postdoc ohrbergs 427 336
Salvatori, Giulio, Dr. Postdoc giulios 200 321
Scholtes, Sorana Communication & Outreach scholtes 434 325
Torres Bobadilla, William Javier, Dr. Postdoc torres 317 335
Vazão, Francisco PhD Student fvvazao 200 321
Zhang, Shun-Qing, Dr. Postdoc sqzhang 405 334