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Extracting electromagnetic signatures of spacetime fluctuations

Sharmila, B., Vermeulen, Sander M. and Datta, Animesh 2024. Extracting electromagnetic signatures of spacetime fluctuations. Classical and Quantum Gravity 41 (7) , 075003. 10.1088/1361-6382/ad2970

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We present a formalism to discern the effects of fluctuations of the spacetime metric on electromagnetic radiation. The formalism works via the measurement of electromagnetic field correlations, while allowing a clear assessment of the assumptions involved. As an application of the formalism, we present a model of spacetime fluctuations that appear as random fluctuations of the refractive index of the vacuum in single, and two co-located Michelson interferometers. We compare an interferometric signal predicted using this model to experimental data from the Holometer and aLIGO. We show that if the signal manifests at a frequency at which the interferometers are sensitive, the strength and scale of possible spacetime fluctuations can be constrained. The bounds, thus obtained, on the strength and scale of the spacetime fluctuations, are also shown to be more stringent than the bounds obtained previously using astronomical observation at optical frequencies. The formalism enables us to evaluate proposed experiments such as QUEST for constraining quantum spacetime fluctuations and to design new ones.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Additional Information: License information from Publisher: LICENSE 1: URL:, Type: cc-by
Publisher: IOP Publishing
ISSN: 0264-9381
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 4 March 2024
Date of Acceptance: 14 February 2024
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2024 10:00

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