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Using Graviton EFT and Massive Gravity to Compute Gravitational Potentials for Black Hole Inspirals


Suter, Bethany Anne (2020) Using Graviton EFT and Massive Gravity to Compute Gravitational Potentials for Black Hole Inspirals. Senior thesis (Major), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/jh6b-bt24.


This year, the LIGO detectors entered their third observing run and have been detecting black hole interactions with increasing precision and sensitivity. These detections have opened up a new way to compare the predictions of Einsteinian gravity with more exotic models. One of these models, massive gravity, is a concrete toy to use in testing these predictions. This project uses ideas from EFT and standard techniques from quantum field theory to calculate scattering amplitudes for scalar particles interacting via gravitons. We first calculated amplitudes up to the 1-looplevel assuming the standard massless graviton and then assuming a massive graviton. We then mapped these amplitudes to gravitational potentials for black holes. Future work will include looking at the different predictions of these two theories (massless and massive gravitons), and comparing them to black hole inspiral data to determine if the massive graviton theory could be a legitimate contender as a model for gravity.

Item Type:Thesis (Senior thesis (Major))
Subject Keywords:Graviton, LIGO, Mass, Black Hole, Potentials
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy
Major Option:Physics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Cheung, Clifford W.
Thesis Committee:
  • Cheung, Clifford W. (chair)
  • Politzer, Hugh David
  • Libbrecht, Kenneth George
Defense Date:4 June 2020
Non-Caltech Author Email:bethanysuter42 (AT)
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:10212021-181920642
Persistent URL:
Suter, Bethany Anne0000-0002-4503-5771
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:14404
Deposited By: Bethany Anne Suter
Deposited On:26 Oct 2021 16:21
Last Modified:26 Oct 2021 16:22

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