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Gravitational-wave luminosity distance in quantum gravity

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Gianluca Calcagni, Sachiko Kuroyanagi, Sylvain Marsat, Mairi Sakellariadou, Nicola Tamanini, Gianmassimo Tasinato

Original languageEnglish
Article number135000
JournalPhysics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics
Publication statusPublished - 10 Nov 2019

King's Authors


Dimensional flow, the scale dependence of the dimensionality of spacetime, is a feature shared by many theories of quantum gravity (QG). We present the first study of the consequences of QG dimensional flow for the luminosity distance scaling of gravitational waves in the frequency ranges of LIGO and LISA. We find generic modifications with respect to the standard general-relativistic scaling, largely independent of specific QG proposals. We constrain these effects using two examples of multimessenger standard sirens, the binary neutron-star merger GW170817 and a simulated supermassive black-hole merger event detectable with LISA. We apply these constraints to various QG candidates, finding that the quantum geometries of group field theory, spin foams and loop quantum gravity can give rise to observable signals in the gravitational-wave spin-2 sector. Our results complement and improve GW propagation-speed bounds on modified dispersion relations. Under more model-dependent assumptions, we also show that bounds on quantum geometry can be strengthened by solar-system tests.

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