Signatures of the Quantization of Gravity at Gravitational Wave Detectors

Kavli Affiliate: Frank Wilczek

| First 5 Authors: Maulik Parikh, Frank Wilczek, George Zahariade, ,

| Summary:

We develop a formalism to calculate the response of a model gravitational
wave detector to a quantized gravitational field. Coupling a detector to a
quantum field induces stochastic fluctuations ("noise") in the length of the
detector arm. The statistical properties of this noise depend on the choice of
quantum state of the gravitational field. We characterize the noise for vacuum,
coherent, thermal, and squeezed states. For coherent states, corresponding to
classical gravitational configurations, we find that the effect of
gravitational field quantization is small. However, the standard deviation in
the arm length can be enhanced — possibly significantly — when the
gravitational field is in a non-coherent state. The detection of this
fundamental noise could provide direct evidence for the quantization of gravity
and for the existence of gravitons.

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