The twistorialization of TGD has two aspects. The attempt to generalize twistor Grassmannian approach emerged first. It was however followed by the realization that also the twistor lift of TGD at classical space-time level is needed. It turned out that that the progress in the understanding of the classical twistor lift has been much faster - probably this is due to my rather limited technical QFT skills.
Twistor lift at space-time level
8-dimensional generalization of ordinary twistors is highly attractive approach to TGD. The reason is that M4 and CP2 are completely exceptional in the sense that they are the only 4-D manifolds allowing twistor space with Kähler structure. The twistor space of M4× CP2 is Cartesian product of those of M4 and CP2. The obvious idea is that space-time surfaces allowing twistor structure if they are orientable are representable as surfaces in H such that the properly induced twistor structure co-incides with the twistor structure defined by the induced metric.
In fact, it is enough to generalize the induction of spinor structure to that of twistor structure so that the induced twistor structure need not be identical with the ordinary twistor structure possibly assignable to the space-time surface. The induction procedure reduces to a dimensional reduction of 6-D Kähler action giving rise to 6-D surfaces having bundle structure with twistor sphere as fiber and space-time as base. The twistor sphere of this bundle is imbedded as sphere in the product of twistor spheres of twistor spaces of M4 and CP2.
This condition would define the dynamics, and the original conjecture was that this dynamics is equivalent with the identification of space-time surfaces as preferred extremals of Kähler action. The dynamics of space-time surfaces would be lifted to the dynamics of twistor spaces, which are sphere bundles over space-time surfaces. What is remarkable that the powerful machinery of complex analysis becomes available.
It however turned out that twistor lift of TGD is much more than a mere technical tool. First of all, the dimensionally reduction of 6-D Kähler action contained besides 4-D Kähler action also a volume term having interpretation in terms of cosmological constant. This need not bring anything new, since all known extremals of Kähler action with non-vanishing induced Kähler form are minimal surfaces. There is however a large number of imbeddings of twistor sphere of space-time surface to the product of twistor spheres. Cosmological constant has spectrum and depends on length scale, and the proposal is that coupling constant evolution reduces to that for cosmological constant playing the role of cutoff length. That cosmological constant could transform from a mere nuisance to a key element of fundamental physics was something totally new and unexpected.
- The twistor lift of TGD at space-time level forces to replace 4-D Kähler action with 6-D dimensionally reduced Kähler action for 6-D surface in the 12-D Cartesian product of 6-D twistor spaces of M4 and CP2. The 6-D surface has bundle structure with twistor sphere as fiber and space-time surface as base.
Twistor structure is obtained by inducing the twistor structure of 12-D twistor space using dimensional reduction. The dimensionally reduced 6-D Kähler action is sum of 4-D Kähler action and volume term having interpretation in terms of a dynamical cosmological constant depending on the size scale of space-time surface (or of causal diamond CD in zero energy ontology (ZEO)) and determined by the representation of twistor sphere of space-time surface in the Cartesian product of the twistor spheres of M4 and CP2.
- The preferred extremal property as a representation of quantum criticality would naturally correspond to minimal surface property meaning that the space-time surface is separately an extremal of both Kähler action and volume term almost everywhere so that there is no coupling between them. This is the case for all known extremals of Kähler action with non-vanishing induced Kähler form.
Minimal surface property could however fail at 2-D string world sheets, their boundaries and perhaps also at partonic 2-surfaces. The failure is realized in minimal sense if the 3-surface has 1-D edges/folds (strings) and 4-surface 2-D edges/folds (string world sheets) at which some partial derivatives of the imbedding space coordinates are discontinuous but canonical momentum densities for the entire action are continuous.
There would be no flow of canonical momentum between interior and string world sheet and minimal surface equations would be satisfied for the string world sheet, whose 4-D counterpart in twistor bundle is determined by the analog of 4-D Kähler action. These conditions allow the transfer of canonical momenta between Kähler- and volume degrees of freedom at string world sheets. These no-flow conditions could hold true at least asymptotically (near the boundaries of CD).
M8-H duality suggests that string world sheets (partonic 2-surfaces) correspond to images of complex 2-sub-manifolds of M8 (having tangent (normal) space which is complex 2-plane of octonionic M8).
- Cosmological constant would depend on p-adic length scales and one ends up to a concrete model for the evolution of cosmological constant as a function of p-adic length scale and other number theoretic parameters (such as Planck constant as the order of Galois group): this conforms with the earlier picture.
Inflation is replaced with its TGD counterpart in which the thickening of cosmic strings to flux tubes leads to a transformation of Kähler magnetic energy to ordinary and dark matter. Since the increase of volume increases volume energy, this leads rapidly to energy minimum at some flux tube thickness. The reduction of cosmological constant by a phase transition however leads to a new expansion phase. These jerks would replace smooth cosmic expansion of GRT. The discrete coupling constant evolution predicted by the number theoretical vision could be understood as being induced by that of cosmological constant taking the role of cutoff parameter in QFT picture.
The classical part of twistor lift of TGD is rather well-understood. Concerning the twistorialization at the level of scattering amplitudes the situation is much more difficult conceptually - I already mentioned my limited QFT skills.
- From the classical picture described above it is clear that one should construct the 8-D twistorial counterpart of theory involving space-time surfaces, string world sheets and their boundaries, plus partonic 2-surfaces and that this should lead to concrete expressions for the scattering amplitudes.
The light-like boundaries of string world sheets as carriers of fermion numbers would correspond to twistors as they appear in twistor Grassmann approach and define the analog for the massless sector of string theories. The attempts to understand twistorialization have been restricted to this sector.
- The beautiful basic prediction would be that particles massless in 8-D sense can be massive in 4-D sense. Also the infrared cutoff problematic in twistor approach emerges naturally and reduces basically to the dynamical cosmological constant provided by classical twistor lift.
One can assign 4-momentum both to the spinor harmonics of the imbedding space representing ground states of super-conformal representations and to light-like boundaries of string world sheets at the orbits of partonic 2-surfaces. The two four-momenta should be identical by quantum classical correspondence: this could be seen as a concretization of Equivalence Principle. Also a connection with string model emerges.
- As far as symmetries are considered, the picture looks rather clear. Ordinary twistor Grassmannian approach boils down to the construction of scattering amplitudes in terms of Yangian invariants for conformal group of M4. Therefore a generalization of super-symplectic symmetries to their Yangian counterpart seems necessary. These symmetries would be gigantic but how to deduce their implications?
- The notion of positive Grassmannian is central in the twistor approach to the scattering amplitudes in N=4 SUSYs. TGD provides a possible generalization and number theoretic interpretation of this notion. TGD generalizes the observation that scattering amplitudes in twistor Grassmann approach correspond to representations for permutations. Since 2-vertex is the only fermionic vertex in TGD, OZI rules for fermions generalizes, and scattering amplitudes are representations for braidings.
Braid interpretation encourages the conjecture that non-planar diagrams can be reduced to ordinary ones by a procedure analogous to the construction of braid (knot) invariants by gradual un-braiding (un-knotting).
- Quantum criticality in TGD framework means that coupling constant evolution is discrete in the sense that coupling constants are piecewise constant functions of length scale replaced by dynamical cosmological constant. Loop corrections would vanish identically and the recursion formulas for the scattering amplitudes (allowing only planar diagrams) deduced in twistor Grassmann would involve no loop corrections. In particular, cuts would be replaced by sequences of poles mimicking them like sequences of point charge mimic line charges. In momentum discretization this picture follows automatically.
- This would make sense in finite measurement resolution realized in number theoretical vision by number-theoretic discretization of the space-time surface (cognitive representation) as points with coordinates in the extension of rationals defining the adele. Similar discretization would take place for momenta. Loops would vanish at the level of discretization but what would happen at the possibly existing continuum limit: does the sequence of poles integrate to cuts? Or is representation as sum of resonances something much deeper?
- Maybe it is! The basic idea of behind the original Veneziano amplitudes (see this) was Veneziano duality. This 4-particle amplitude was generalized by Yoshiro Nambu, Holber-Beck Nielsen, and Leonard Susskind to N-particle amplitude (see this) based on string picture, and the resulting model was called dual resonance model. The model was forgotten as QCD emerged. Later came superstring models and led to M-theory. Now it has become clear that something went wrong, and it seems that one must return to the roots. Could the return to the roots mean a careful reconsideration of the dual resonance model?
- Recall that Veneziano duality (1968) was deduced by assuming that scattering amplitude can be described as sum over s-channel resonances or t-channel Regge exchanges and Veneziano duality stated that hadronic scattering amplitudes have representation as sums over s- or t-channel resonance poles identified as excitations of strings. The sum over exchanges defined by t-channel resonances indeed reduces at larger values of s to Regge form.
The resonances had zero width, which was not consistent with unitarity. Further, there were no counterparts for the sum of s-, t-, and u-channel diagrams with continuous cuts in the kinematical regions encountered in QFT approach. What puts bells ringing is the u-channel diagrams would be non-planar and non-planarity is the problem of twistor Grassmann approach.
- Veneziano duality is true only for s- and t- channels but not been s- and u-channel. Stringy description makes t-channel and s-channel pictures equivalent. Could it be that in fundamental description u-channels diagrams cannot be distinguished from s-channel diagrams or t-channel diagrams? Could the stringy representation of the scattering diagrams make u-channel twist somehow trivial if handles of string world sheet representing stringy loops in turn representing the analog of non-planarity of Feynman diagrams are absent? The permutation of external momenta for tree diagram in absence of loops in planar representation would be a twist of π in the representation of planar diagram as string world sheet and would not change the topology of the string world sheet and would not involve non-trivial world sheet topology.
For string world sheets loops would correspond to handles. The presence of handle would give an edge with a loop at the level of 3-surface (self energy correction in QFT). Handles are not allowed if the induced metric for the string world sheet has Minkowskian signature. If the stringy counterparts of loops are absent, also the loops in scattering amplitudes should be absent.
This argument applies only inside the Minkowskian space-time regions. If string world sheets are present also in Euclidian regions, they might have handles and loop corrections could emerge in this manner. In TGD framework strings (string world sheets) are identified to 1-D edges/folds of 3-surface at which minimal surface property and topological QFT property fails (minimal surfaces as calibrations). Could the interpretation of edge/fold as discontinuity of some partial derivatives exclude loopy edges: perhaps the branching points would be too singular?
The replacement of continuous cut with a sum of infinitely narrow resonances is certainly an approximation. Could it be that the stringy representation as a sum of resonances with finite width is an essential aspect of quantum physics allowing to get rid of infinities necessarily accompanying loops? Consider now the arguments against this idea.
- How to get rid of the problems with unitarity caused by the zero width of resonances? Could finite resonance widths make unitarity possible? Ordinary twistor Grassmannian approach predicts that the virtual momenta are light-like but complex: obviously, the imaginary part of the energy in rest frame would have interpretation as resonance with.
In TGD framework this generalizes for 8-D momenta. By quantum-classical correspondence (QCC) the classical Noether charges are equal to the eigenvalues of the fermionic charges in Cartan algebrable (maximal set of mutually commuting observables) and classical TGD indeed predicts complex momenta (Kähler coupling strength is naturally complex). QCC thus supports this proposal.
- Sum over resonances/exchanges picture is in conflict with QFT picture about scattering of particles. Could finite resonance widths due to the complex momenta give rise to the QFT type scattering amplitudes as one develops the amplitudes in Taylor series with respect to the resonance width? Unitarity condition indeed gives the first estimate for the resonance width.
QFT amplitudes should emerge in an approximation obtained by replacing the discrete set of finite width resonances with a cut as the distance between poles is shorter than the resolution for mass squared.
In superstring models string tension has single very large value and one cannot obtain QFT type behavior at low energies (for instance, scattering amplitudes in hadronic string model are concentrated in forward direction). TGD however predicts an entire hierarchy of p-adic length scales with varying string tension. The hierarchy of mass scales corresponding roughly to the lengths and thickness of magnetic flux tubes as thickened cosmic strings and characterized by the value of cosmological constant predicted by twistor lift of TGD. Could this give rise to continuous QCT type cuts at the limit when measurement resolution cannot distinguish between resonances?
See the article More about the construction of scattering amplitudes in TGD framework or the chapter The Recent View about Twistorialization in TGD Framework of "Towards M-matrix".
For a summary of earlier postings see Latest progress in TGD.