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Journal Article

Quantum gravity and gravitational-wave astronomy


Calcagni,  Gianluca
Microscopic Quantum Structure & Dynamics of Spacetime, AEI-Golm, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Max Planck Society;


Marsat,  Sylvain
Astrophysical and Cosmological Relativity, AEI-Golm, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Max Planck Society;


Tamanini,  Nicola
Astrophysical and Cosmological Relativity, AEI-Golm, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Calcagni, G., Kuroyanagi, S., Marsat, S., Sakellariadou, M., Tamanini, N., & Tasinato, G. (2019). Quantum gravity and gravitational-wave astronomy. Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics, 2019: 012. doi:10.1088/1475-7516/2019/10/012.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0004-48D4-C
We investigate possible signatures of quantum gravity which could be tested with current and future gravitational-wave (GW) observations. In particular, we analyze how quantum gravity can influence the GW luminosity distance, the time dependence of the effective Planck mass and the instrumental strain noise of interferometers. Using both model-dependent and model-independent formulae, we show that these quantities can encode a non-perturbative effect typical of all quantum-gravity theories, namely the way the dimension of spacetime changes with the probed scale. Effects associated with such dimensional flow might be tested with GW observations and constrained significantly in theories with a microscopically discrete spacetime geometry, more strongly than from propagation-speed constraints. Making use of public LIGO data as well as of a simulated higher-redshift LISA source, we impose the first, respectively, actual and mock constraints on quantum-gravity parameters affecting the GW luminosity distance and discuss specific theoretical examples. If also the Newtonian potential is modified but light geodesics are not, then solar-system bounds may be stronger than GW ones. Yet, for some theories GW astronomy can give unique information not available from solar-system tests.