The EFT-Hedron

Nima Arkani-Hamed, Tzu-Chen Huang, Yu-tin Huang
We re-examine the constraints imposed by causality and unitarity on the low-energy effective field theory expansion of four-particle scattering amplitudes, exposing a hidden “totally positive” structure strikingly similar to the positive geometries associated with grassmannians and amplituhedra. This forces the infinite tower of higher-dimension operators to lie inside a new geometry we call the “EFThedron”. We initiate a systematic investigation of the boundary structure of the EFThedron, giving infinitely many linear and non-linear inequalities that must be satisfied by the EFT expansion in any theory. We illustrate the EFThedron geometry and constraints in a wide variety of examples, including new consistency conditions on the scattering amplitudes of photons and gravitons in the real world.

Click to access 2012.15849.pdf

Discovery of the Relativistic Schrödinger Equation

Kamal Barley, José Vega-Guzmán, Sergei K. Suslov
We discuss the discovery of the relativistic wave equation for a spin-zero charged particle in the Coulomb field by Erwin Schrödinger (and elaborate on why he didn’t publish it).

Click to access 2012.12467.pdf

Nonequilibrium Physics in Biology

Xiaona Fang, Karsten Kruse, Ting Lu, Jin Wang
Life is characterized by a myriad of complex dynamic processes allowing organisms to grow, reproduce, and evolve. Physical approaches for describing systems out of thermodynamic equilibrium have been increasingly applied to living systems, which often exhibit phenomena unknown from those traditionally studied in physics. Spectacular advances in experimentation during the last decade or two, for example, in microscopy, single cell dynamics, in the reconstruction of sub- and multicellular systems outside of living organisms, or in high throughput data acquisition have yielded an unprecedented wealth of data about cell dynamics, genetic regulation, and organismal development. These data have motivated the development and refinement of concepts and tools to dissect the physical mechanisms underlying biological processes. Notably, the landscape and flux theory as well as active hydrodynamic gel theory have proven very useful in this endeavour. Together with concepts and tools developed in other areas of nonequilibrium physics, significant progresses have been made in unraveling the principles underlying efficient energy transport in photosynthesis, cellular regulatory networks, cellular movements and organization, embryonic development and cancer, neural network dynamics, population dynamics and ecology, as well as ageing, immune responses and evolution. Here, we review recent advances in nonequilibrium physics and survey their application to biological systems. We expect many of these results to be important cornerstones as the field continues to build our understanding of life.

Click to access 2012.05067.pdf

The Timeline Of Gravity

Arshia Anjum, Sriman Srisa Saran Mishra
Gravity plays an important part in the experiments and discoveries of the modern world. But how was it discovered? Surely Newton and Einstein were not the only people to observe it and account for it. It had been a long path before the full theory for Gravitation could be formulated with open ends for more add-ons and modifications. All the contributions from across the world and different eras helped in the discovery of gravity as a whole new concept and area of research with a major contribution from the Greeks. This 3 article series lists out the important curves in the carefully carved path of gravitational discovery. The first article summarises the development of interest in the cosmos and the growth of scientific knowledge through ancient theories and observations.

Click to access 2011.14014.pdf

A Historical Method Approach to Teaching Kepler’s 2nd law

Wladimir Lyra
Kepler’s 2nd law, the law of the areas, is usually taught in passing, between the 1st and the 3rd laws, to be explained “later on” as a consequence of angular momentum conservation. The 1st and 3rd laws receive the bulk of attention; the 1st law because of the paradigm shift significance in overhauling the previous circular models with epicycles of both Ptolemy and Copernicus, the 3rd because of its convenience to the standard curriculum in having a simple mathematical statement that allows for quantitative homework assignments and exams. In this work I advance a method for teaching the 2nd law that combines the paradigm-shift significance of the 1st and the mathematical proclivity of the 3rd. The approach is rooted in the historical method, indeed, placed in its historical context, Kepler’s 2nd is as revolutionary as the 1st: as the 1st law does away with the epicycle, the 2nd law does away with the equant. This way of teaching the 2nd law also formulates the “time=area” statement quantitatively, in the way of Kepler’s equation, M = E – e sin E (relating mean anomaly M, eccentric anomaly E, and eccentricity e), where the left-hand side is time and the right-hand side is area. In doing so, it naturally paves the way to finishing the module with an active learning computational exercise, for instance, to calculate the timing and location of Mars’ next opposition. This method is partially based on Kepler’s original thought, and should thus best be applied to research-oriented students, such as junior and senior physics/astronomy undergraduates, or graduate students.

Click to access 2011.13386.pdf

Sidney Coleman’s Dirac Lecture “Quantum Mechanics in Your Face”

This is a write-up of Sidney Coleman’s classic lecture first given as a Dirac Lecture at Cambridge University and later recorded when repeated at the New England sectional meeting of the American Physical Society (April 9, 1994). My sources have been this recording and a copy of the slides Sidney send to me after he gave the lecture as a Physics Colloquium at Stanford University some time between 1995 and 1998. To preserve both the scientific content and most of the charm, I have kept the editing to a minimum, but did add a bibliography containing the references Sidney mentioned.–Martin Greiter


Click to access 2011.12671.pdf