Signatures of the quantization of gravity at gravitational wave detectors

Maulik Parikh, Frank Wilczek, George Zahariade

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


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 noncoherent state. The detection of this fundamental noise could provide direct evidence for the quantization of gravity and for the existence of gravitons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number046021
JournalPhysical Review D
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 15 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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