The kinematic algebras from the scattering equations

Donal O'Connell, Ricardo Monteiro

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We study kinematic algebras associated to the recently proposed scattering equations, which arise in the description of the scattering of massless particles. In particular, we describe the role that these algebras play in the BCJ duality between colour and kinematics in gauge theory, and its relation to gravity. We find that the scattering equations are a consistency condition for a self-dual-type vertex which is associated to each solution of those equations. We also identify an extension of the anti-self-dual vertex, such that the two vertices are not conjugate in general. Both vertices correspond to the structure constants of Lie algebras. We give a prescription for the use of the generators of these Lie algebras in trivalent graphs that leads to a natural set of BCJ numerators. In particular, we write BCJ numerators for each contribution to the amplitude associated to a solution of the scattering equations. This leads to a decomposition of the determinant of a certain kinematic matrix, which appears naturally in the amplitudes, in terms of trivalent graphs. We also present the kinematic analogues of colour traces, according to these algebras, and the associated decomposition of that determinant.
Original languageEnglish
Article number110
JournalJournal of High Energy Physics
Issue number03
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2014


  • Scattering Amplitudes
  • Duality in Gauge Field Theories


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