Gravity as a Double Copy of Gauge Theory

Research Group: 
Centre for Research in String Theory
Length of Study in Years: 
Full-time Project: 
Project Description: 
This project explores a powerful connection between gauge theory and gravity, two fundamental ingredients in our understanding of Nature. It is clear that there is a close mathematical analogy between the two theories, with gauge theory describing "spin-1" particles and gravity describing "spin-2" particles. In recent years, that relationship has been shown to be much closer than previously recognised. It turns out that gravity can be expressed as a "double copy" of gauge theory, at least perturbatively. Using this technique, fiendish calculations in gravity can be substituted by much simpler calculations in gauge theory. One of the applications of the technique is to study in detail the ultraviolet divergences in a variety of theories of gravity, a problem at the heart of quantum gravity. More recently, there is a new programme to study classical solutions (either perturbative or exact) in general relativity using the double copy.

The aims of the project are (1) to understand at a more fundamental level the mathematical structure behind the double-copy relation, (2) to develop an efficient formalism for loop-level amplitudes, (3) to investigate the connection between the spaces of solutions to the Einstein equations and to the Yang-Mills equations, and (4) to explore the application of the double copy in gravitational phenomenology, namely to problems of astrophysical interest involving gravitational waves.
Knowledge of Quantum Field Theory and General Relativity at the level of a Master course.
SPA Academics: 
Ricardo Monteiro