Waveforms from Amplitudes

Andrea Cristofoli, Riccardo Gonzo, David A. Kosower*, Donal O'Connell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We show how to compute classical wave observables using quantum scattering amplitudes. We discuss observables both with incoming and with outgoing waves. The required classical limits are naturally described by coherent states of massless bosons. We recompute the classic gravitational deflection of light, and also show how to rederive Thomson scattering. We introduce a new class of local observables, which includes the asymptotic electromagnetic and gravitational Newman--Penrose scalars. As an example, we compute a simple radiated waveform: the expectation of the electromagnetic field in charged-particle scattering. At leading order, the waveform is trivially related to the five-point scattering amplitude.
Original languageEnglish
Article number056007
Pages (from-to)1-39
Number of pages39
JournalPhysical Review D, particles, fields, gravitation, and cosmology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 9 Sep 2022


  • hep-th
  • gr-qc


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