6.2 Arbitrary numbers of legs at one loop

Surprisingly, the above four-point results can be extended to an arbitrary number of external legs. Using the unitarity methods, the five- and six-point amplitudes with all identical helicity have also been obtained by direct calculation [22Jump To The Next Citation Point23Jump To The Next Citation Point]. Then by demanding that the amplitudes have the properties described in Section 3.4 for momenta becoming either soft [139Jump To The Next Citation Point10] or collinear [22Jump To The Next Citation Point], an ansatz for the one-loop maximally helicity-violating amplitudes for an arbitrary number of external legs has also been obtained. These amplitudes were constructed from a set of building blocks called “half-soft-function”, which have “half” of the proper behavior as gravitons become soft. The details of this construction and the explicit forms of the amplitudes may be found in Refs. [22Jump To The Next Citation Point23Jump To The Next Citation Point].

The all-plus helicity amplitudes turn out to be very closely related to the infinite sequence of one-loop maximally helicity-violating amplitudes in N = 8 supergravity. The two sequences are related by a curious “dimension shifting formula.” In Ref. [23Jump To The Next Citation Point], a known dimension shifting formula [18] between identical helicity QCD and N = 4 super-Yang–Mills amplitudes was used to obtain the four-, five-, and six-point N = 8 amplitudes from the identical helicity gravity amplitudes using the KLT relations in the unitarity cuts. Armed with these explicit results, the soft and collinear properties were then used to obtain an ansatz valid for an arbitrary number of external legs [23Jump To The Next Citation Point]. This provides a rather non-trivial illustration of how the KLT relations can be used to identify properties of gravity amplitudes using known properties of gauge theory amplitudes.

Interestingly, the all-plus helicity amplitudes are also connected to self-dual gravity [108Jump To The Next Citation Point52Jump To The Next Citation Point109Jump To The Next Citation Point] and self-dual Yang–Mills [14353Jump To The Next Citation Point94934Jump To The Next Citation Point30Jump To The Next Citation Point33Jump To The Next Citation Point], i.e. gravity and gauge theory restricted to self-dual configurations of the respective field strengths, R μνρσ = i𝜖μνα βRαβρσ 2 and Fμν = i𝜖μναβF αβ 2, with 𝜖 = +1 0123. This connection is simple to see at the linearized (free field theory) level since a superposition of plane waves of identical helicity satisfies the self-duality condition. The self-dual currents and amplitudes have been studied at tree and one-loop levels [5343033Jump To The Next Citation Point]. In particular, Chalmers and Siegel [33] have presented self-dual actions for gauge theory (and gravity), which reproduce the all-plus helicity scattering amplitudes at both tree and one-loop levels.

The ability to obtain exact expressions for gravity loop amplitudes demonstrates the utility of this approach for investigating quantum properties of gravity theories. The next section describes how this can be used to study high energy divergence properties in quantum gravity.

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