NBIA Colloquium by Roger Penrose – Niels Bohr Institute - University of Copenhagen

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NBIA Colloquium by Roger Penrose

Twistor Theory and Basic Physics: Some Recent New Ideas

Roger Penrose

(University of Oxford)

Twistor theory was initiated in 1963 as an alternative description of space-time physics, based fundamentally on the complex number system, and dependent on crucial links with the formalism of quantum theory. Despite many developments, little attention was paid to it until 40 years later, when Edward Witten pointed out significant connections with the calculation of high-energy scattering processes. Important later work by many researchers, including Andrew Hodges and Nima Arkani-Hamed have developed the theory in novel directions, all this leading to vast simplifications in the calculation of scattering amplitudes. Much of this activity is in the direction of perturbation analysis, early work on exact solutions of the non-linear Einstein and Yang–Mills equations having been hampered by being restricted to just one helicity by the so-called “googly problem”. A novel approach to circumventing this difficulty will be presented.

Refreshments will be served in the NBIA lounge after the talk.