Computer Algebra for Multi-Loop Feynman Integrals

Supported by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), Project 33530 (2021–2025)


In the digital age many areas of mathematics have been algorithmized. Not only simple calculators but often sophisticated apps for the manipulation of non-trivial formulas are installed on many smartphones that are used naturally in many areas of life, like in school, university studies or in business. But this is only the tip of the iceberg. With advanced computer algebra technologies it is meanwhile possible to simplify complex expressions that cannot be treated anymore by experts because of their complexity or involved size. In this research project in close cooperation with the Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY, Johannes Blümlein und Peter Marquard) we will apply these exciting developments of algorithmic mathematics to the research area of particle physics. In order to answer or at least approach fundamental questions such as "What did the universe look like in the first second after the big bang?", "Do the 4 fundamental forces unite at high energies?", or "Do the properties of the new particle, called the Higgs-Boson comply with the theoretical predictions?", highly complicated Feynman integrals have to be simplified that describe the interaction of elementary particles with high precision.
More precisely, we will simplify challenging expressions of massive multi-loop Feynman integrals that require several GBs of memory. Here the basic idea is to rewrite the expressions in a preprocessing step to alternative expressions that fit into the input class of our computer algebra algorithms. Besides the transformation to more suitable integral representations, it will be necessary to produce nested sums or coupled linear differential equations (linear systems with one extra differential operator) that contain the physical problems as solutions. In all these cases it will be a central task to solve gigantic linear differential equations and recurrences where the solutions are composed also in terms of new special functions whose mathematical properties are completely unknown. In order to carry out these monster calculations, many non-trivial obstacles have to be overcome that will be only feasible with a new generation of computer algebra technologies. In particular, new algorithms within the field of symbolic summation and integration but also new technologies from the field of special functions will be developed. A special challenge will be the implementation of these sophisticated algorithms in form of stable and highly efficient software packages. In summary, we plan to simplify gigantic expressions of multi-loop Feynman integrals with the help of our optimized and novel computer algebra technologies and will process them further to a form that is urgently needed, e.g., for the Large Hardron Collider (LHC) and its planned successor at CERN, the FCC. In particular, our results will contribute substantially to gain further fascinating insight within the world of particle physics


The project is carried out within the Computer Algebra and Applications Group and the RISC-DESY cooperation. The involved members are


Carsten Schneider (project leader)
Research Institute for Symbolic Computation
Johannes Kepler University Linz
Altenbergerstrasse 69
A-4040 Linz, Austria