Mathematics Department Colloquium: The Positive Geometry of Fundamental Physics, From Scattering Amplitudes to the Wavefunction of the Universe

Colloquium | October 19 | 4:10-5 p.m. | 60 Evans Hall

 Nima Arkani-Hamed, Institute for Advanced Study

 Department of Mathematics

Spacetime and Quantum Mechanics form the pillars of our understanding of modern physics, but there are several indications that these concepts are approximate and must emerge from deeper principles, undoubtedly involving new mathematics. In this talk I will describe some emerging ideas along these lines, and present a new formulation of some very basic physics– fundamental to particle scattering and to cosmology–not following from quantum evolution in space-time, but associated with simple new mathematical structures in "positive geometry". In these examples we can concretely see how the usual rules of space-time and quantum mechanics can arise, joined at the hip, from fundamentally geometric and combinatorial origins.