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29.09.2016 (Thursday)

On the null origin of the ambitwistor string

Regular Seminar Eduardo Casali (Oxford U.)

14:00 QMW
room G.O. Jones 610

The Cachazo-He-Yuan (CHY) formulas are a remarkable representation of tree-level massless scattering amplitudes. Similarly to the Twistor String formulas, the CHY formula presents amplitudes as an integrals over the moduli space of Riemann surfaces constrained to the solutions of a set of algebraic equations called the scattering equations. But contrary to the Twistor String formulas, they can be written in for any dimension and for a variety of massless theories. Behind the original CHY formula and the scattering equations lies a 2D CFT called the Ambitwistor String, much like the original Twistor String, this is a chiral CFT in which correlators of vertex operators reproduce the CHY formulas and give a geometric interpretation of the scattering equations. The Ambitwistor string possesses a few peculiar characteristics when viewed as a string theory, its low energy efective action is the same as Type II closed strings but the appearance of the scattering equations suggests a high-energy limit has been taken a la Gross and Mende. Besides, its genus one correlation functions are modular invariant but UV divergent since they correspond to 10D SUGRA amplitudes. In this talk I'll talk about a program started with P. Tourkine in which the Ambitwistor String (and other Twistor Strings) are treated as coming from the tensionless limit of classcial string theories. These are know as null strings and have a long history in the literature. I'll review the null string and its supersymmetric extensions and show how the Ambitwistor String can be obtained from a particular gauge fixing of the null string. In doing so, I'll address the issue of possible inequivalent quantizations of the null string and compare it to the case of the usual string and shed a light its relation to the Ambitwistor String.