Maths HEP Lunchtime Seminars: Gravity as a free worldsheet CFT
6 February 2015 13:00 in CM221
Recently there have emerged many novel expressions for the tree-level S-matrices of gauge theory and gravity which are remarkable for their compactness (relative to traditional Feynman diagram expansions). These formulae should be telling us something about the underlying field theories: namely, that they are simpler (on-shell, at least) than their space-time Lagrangians seem. We will explore this line of reasoning to give a reformulation of gravity (more specifically, the NS-NS sector of type II SUGRA in 10d) in terms of a chiral, first-order worldsheet CFT with free OPEs. The quantum anomalies of this theory are given exactly by the Einstein field equations for the target space. Throughout, I'll try to compare and contrast with the analogous story in string theory.