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School of Physical and Chemical Sciences

Classical general relativity and gravitational waves from scattering amplitudes

Research Group: Centre for Theoretical Physics
Number of Students: 1-2
Length of Study in Years: 3-4
Full-time Project: yes


QM Scholarship

Project Description

Scattering amplitudes describe not just the dynamics of subatomic particles but also the interactions of extraordinarily large objects such as black holes. When black holes collide, tremendous amounts of energy are emitted in the form of gravitational radiation. The first direct detection of gravitational waves in 2015, 100 years after Einstein’s prediction, opened a fascinating new window to our universe, revealing events with extreme energies never probed before. Scattering amplitude based methods have provided new and fruitful ways to tackle both practical and conceptual problems in gravitational theories. We have been at the forefront of these developments, and the goal of this project will be to push the precision frontier in gravitational-wave research and develop novel, highly efficient methods to provide much needed high-precision models to compare with new experimental data. The project will make extensive use of the double copy and BCJ duality between colour and kinematics. We will explore the role of spin in black hole scattering, deviations from General Relativity due to higher-derivative terms in the framework of effective field theory, and conceptual issues related to the extraction of classical effects in General Relativity from loop amplitudes. 


A solid understanding of Quantum Field Theory and General Relativity, and some knowledge of supersymmetry and group theory.

SPCS Academics: Andreas Brandhuber, Gabriele Travaglini