18 February 2015

Emil Bjerrum-Bohr's recent paper is "Editors' Suggestion" at Physics Review Letters

Emil Bjerrum-Bohr, Barry Holstein, Ludovic Planté, John Donoghue and  Pierre Vanhove (a frequent visitor at the NBIA) have had a paper  highlighted as an "Editors' Suggestion" of Physical Review Letters. The  paper concerns the use gravity as an effective field theory, a  systematic low-energy expansion of the otherwise unknown underlying  quantum field theory of gravity. Through an effective field theory  description and modern on-shell techniques for computation, they  describe analytically the leading quantum effect to the bending of light  caused by a heavy object like the Sun or a Schwarzschild black hole.  While the effect is tiny, about (80 orders of magnitude smaller than the  General relativity effects), it is shown that the quantum effects do  make a difference in that the photon's motion can no longer be  envisioned as being confined to a simple geodesic curve. The Letter's  approach to computations of quantum gravity effects provides a simple  path forward for quantum computations in gravity and sets a standard for  how to investigate quantum effects in gravitational contexts.