Algebraic Structure of Cut Feynman Integrals and the Diagrammatic Coaction
AbstractWe study the algebraic and analytic structure of Feynman integrals by proposing an operation that maps an integral into pairs of integrals obtained from a master integrand and a corresponding master contour. This operation is a coaction. It reduces to the known coaction on multiple polylogarithms, but applies more generally, e.g., to hypergeometric functions. The coaction also applies to generic one-loop Feynman integrals with any configuration of internal and external masses, and in dimensional regularization. In this case, we demonstrate that it can be given a diagrammatic representation purely in terms of operations on graphs, namely, contractions and cuts of edges. The coaction gives direct access to (iterated) discontinuities of Feynman integrals and facilitates a straightforward derivation of the differential equations they admit. In particular, the differential equations for any one-loop integral are determined by the diagrammatic coaction using limited information about their maximal, next-to-maximal, and next-to-next-to-maximal cuts.