Off-shell amplitudes as boundary integrals of analytically continued Wilson line slope

P. Kotko, M. Serino, A. M. Stasto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


One of the methods to calculate tree-level multi-gluon scattering amplitudes is to use the Berends-Giele recursion relation involving off-shell currents or off-shell amplitudes, if working in the light cone gauge. As shown in recent works using the light-front perturbation theory, solutions to these recursions naturally collapse into gauge invariant and gauge-dependent components, at least for some helicity configurations. In this work, we show that such structure is helicity independent and emerges from analytic properties of matrix elements of Wilson line operators, where the slope of the straight gauge path is shifted in a certain complex direction. This is similar to the procedure leading to the Britto-Cachazo-Feng-Witten (BCFW) recursion, however we apply a complex shift to the Wilson line slope instead of the external momenta. While in the original BCFW procedure the boundary integrals over the complex shift vanish for certain deformations, here they are non-zero and are equal to the off-shell amplitudes. The main result can thus be summarized as follows: we derive a decomposition of a helicity-fixed off-shell current into gauge invariant component given by a matrix element of a straight Wilson line plus a reminder given by a sum of products of gauge invariant and gauge dependent quantities. We give several examples realizing this relation, including the five-point next-to-MHV helicity configuration.

Original languageEnglish
Article number26
JournalJournal of High Energy Physics
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Perturbative QCD
  • Scattering Amplitudes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


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