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Natural boundaries for scattering amplitudes

Sebastian Mizera

SciPost Phys. 14, 101 (2023) · published 9 May 2023


Singularities, such as poles and branch points, play a crucial role in investigating the analytic properties of scattering amplitudes that inform new computational techniques. In this note, we point out that scattering amplitudes can also have another class of singularities called \emph{natural boundaries} of analyticity. They create a barrier beyond which analytic continuation cannot be performed. More concretely, we use unitarity to show that $2 \to 2$ scattering amplitudes in theories with a mass gap can have a natural boundary on the second sheet of the lightest threshold cut. There, an infinite number of ladder-type Landau singularities densely accumulates on the real axis in the center-of-mass energy plane. We argue that natural boundaries are generic features of higher-multiplicity scattering amplitudes in gapped theories.

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