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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