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Physicists Discover Geometry Underlying Particle Physics

Physicists Discover Geometry Underlying Particle Physics
Physicists have discovered a jewel-like geometric object that dramatically simplifies calculations of particle interactions and challenges the notion that space and time are fundamental components of reality. “This is completely new and very much simpler than anything that has been done before,” said Andrew Hodges, a mathematical physicist at Oxford University who has been following the work. The revelation that particle interactions, the most basic events in nature, may be consequences of geometry significantly advances a decades-long effort to reformulate quantum field theory, the body of laws describing elementary particles and their interactions. Interactions that were previously calculated with mathematical formulas thousands of terms long can now be described by computing the volume of the corresponding jewel-like “amplituhedron,” which yields an equivalent one-term expression. Locality is the notion that particles can interact only from adjoining positions in space and time.

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Amplituhedron An amplituhedron is a geometric structure that enables simplified calculation of particle interactions in some quantum field theories. In planar N = 4 supersymmetric Yang–Mills theory, an amplituhedron is defined as a mathematical space known as the positive Grassmannian. The connection between the amplituhedron and scattering amplitudes is at present a conjecture that has passed many non-trivial checks, including an understanding of how locality and unitarity arise as consequences of positivity. Research has been led by Nima Arkani-Hamed. Edward Witten described the work as “very unexpected" and said that "it is difficult to guess what will happen or what the lessons will turn out to be.

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