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Durham University

Department of Physics

Staff profile

Publication details for Dr. Jeppe Rosenkrantz Andersen

Giddings, S.B., Schmidt-Sommerfeld, M. & Andersen, J.R. (2010). High energy scattering in gravity and supergravity. Physical Review D 82(10): 104022.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

We investigate features of perturbative gravity and supergravity by studying scattering in the ultra-Planckian limit, and sharpen arguments that the dynamics is governed by long-distance physics. A simple example capturing aspects of the eikonal resummation suggests why short-distance phenomena and, in particular, divergences or nonrenormalizability do not necessarily play a central role in this regime. A more profound problem is apparently unitarity. These considerations can be illustrated by showing that known gravity and supergravity amplitudes have the same long-distance behavior, despite the extra light states of supergravity, and this serves as an important check on long-range dynamics in a context where perturbative amplitudes are finite. We also argue that these considerations have other important implications: they obstruct both probing the conjectured phenomenon of asymptotic safety through a physical scattering process, and ultra-Planckian scattering exhibiting Regge behavior. These arguments sharpen the need to find a nonperturbative completion of gravity with mechanisms which restore unitarity in the strong gravity regime.