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Publication# Selection rules for helicity amplitudes in massive gauge theories

Abstract

After a rediscussion of the vanishing theorems for helicity amplitudes in unbroken gauge theories, we study the case of spontaneously broken gauge theories at high energy. The vanishing theorems generalize to a definite pattern of m/E suppression of the amplitudes that vanish in the massless case, where E is the energy scale of the process and m is the mass of the gauge vectors. We use only elementary arguments, and as an application we show how these methods can be employed to understand some aspects of the effective W approximation in the polarized case. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.87.074026

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Related concepts (5)

Gauge theory

In physics, a gauge theory is a field theory in which the Lagrangian is invariant under local transformations according to certain smooth families of operations (Lie groups). The term gauge refers to any specific mathematical formalism to regulate redundant degrees of freedom in the Lagrangian of a physical system. The transformations between possible gauges, called gauge transformations, form a Lie group—referred to as the symmetry group or the gauge group of the theory. Associated with any Lie group is the Lie algebra of group generators.

Amplitude

The amplitude of a periodic variable is a measure of its change in a single period (such as time or spatial period). The amplitude of a non-periodic signal is its magnitude compared with a reference value. There are various definitions of amplitude (see below), which are all functions of the magnitude of the differences between the variable's extreme values. In older texts, the phase of a periodic function is sometimes called the amplitude. For symmetric periodic waves, like sine waves, square waves or triangle waves peak amplitude and semi amplitude are the same.

Selection rule

In physics and chemistry, a selection rule, or transition rule, formally constrains the possible transitions of a system from one quantum state to another. Selection rules have been derived for electromagnetic transitions in molecules, in atoms, in atomic nuclei, and so on. The selection rules may differ according to the technique used to observe the transition. The selection rule also plays a role in chemical reactions, where some are formally spin-forbidden reactions, that is, reactions where the spin state changes at least once from reactants to products.