High energy scattering in gravity and supergravity

Steven B. Giddings, Maximilian Schmidt-Sommerfeld, Jeppe Rosenkrantz Andersen

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Abstract

We investigate features of perturbative gravity and supergravity by studying scattering in the ultraplanckian 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 probing the conjectured phenomenon of asymptotic safety through a physical scattering process, and ultraplanckian 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.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPhys.Rev.D
Volume82
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9. Nov 2010

Keywords

  • hep-th
  • gr-qc

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