# Scalar gravitational waves in the effective theory of gravity

## Abstract

As a low energy effective field theory, classical General Relativity receives an infrared relevant modification from the conformal trace anomaly of the energy-momentum tensor of massless, or nearly massless, quantum fields. The local form of the effective action associated with the trace anomaly is expressed in terms of a dynamical scalar field that couples to the conformal factor of the spacetime metric, allowing it to propagate over macroscopic distances. Linearized around flat spacetime, this semi-classical EFT admits scalar gravitational wave solutions in addition to the transversely polarized tensor waves of the classical Einstein theory. The amplitude of the scalar wave modes, as well as their energy and energy flux which are positive and contain a monopole moment, are computed. As a result, astrophysical sources for scalar gravitational waves are considered, with the excited gluonic condensates in the interiors of neutron stars in merger events with other compact objects likely to provide the strongest burst signals.

- Authors:

- Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)

- Publication Date:

- Research Org.:
- Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)

- Sponsoring Org.:
- USDOE Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) Program

- OSTI Identifier:
- 1398910

- Report Number(s):
- LA-UR-16-23649

Journal ID: ISSN 1029-8479

- Grant/Contract Number:
- AC52-06NA25396

- Resource Type:
- Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript

- Journal Name:
- Journal of High Energy Physics (Online)

- Additional Journal Information:
- Journal Name: Journal of High Energy Physics (Online); Journal Volume: 2017; Journal Issue: 7; Journal ID: ISSN 1029-8479

- Publisher:
- Springer Berlin

- Country of Publication:
- United States

- Language:
- English

- Subject:
- 72 PHYSICS OF ELEMENTARY PARTICLES AND FIELDS; Astronomy and Astrophysics; Gravitational Waves; General Theory of Relativity; Conformal Anomaly; Anomalies in Field and String Theories; Models of Quantum Gravity; Effective Field Theories

### Citation Formats

```
Mottola, Emil.
```*Scalar gravitational waves in the effective theory of gravity*. United States: N. p., 2017.
Web. doi:10.1007/JHEP07(2017)043.

```
Mottola, Emil.
```*Scalar gravitational waves in the effective theory of gravity*. United States. doi:10.1007/JHEP07(2017)043.

```
Mottola, Emil. Mon .
"Scalar gravitational waves in the effective theory of gravity". United States.
doi:10.1007/JHEP07(2017)043. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1398910.
```

```
@article{osti_1398910,
```

title = {Scalar gravitational waves in the effective theory of gravity},

author = {Mottola, Emil},

abstractNote = {As a low energy effective field theory, classical General Relativity receives an infrared relevant modification from the conformal trace anomaly of the energy-momentum tensor of massless, or nearly massless, quantum fields. The local form of the effective action associated with the trace anomaly is expressed in terms of a dynamical scalar field that couples to the conformal factor of the spacetime metric, allowing it to propagate over macroscopic distances. Linearized around flat spacetime, this semi-classical EFT admits scalar gravitational wave solutions in addition to the transversely polarized tensor waves of the classical Einstein theory. The amplitude of the scalar wave modes, as well as their energy and energy flux which are positive and contain a monopole moment, are computed. As a result, astrophysical sources for scalar gravitational waves are considered, with the excited gluonic condensates in the interiors of neutron stars in merger events with other compact objects likely to provide the strongest burst signals.},

doi = {10.1007/JHEP07(2017)043},

journal = {Journal of High Energy Physics (Online)},

number = 7,

volume = 2017,

place = {United States},

year = {Mon Jul 10 00:00:00 EDT 2017},

month = {Mon Jul 10 00:00:00 EDT 2017}

}

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