Cosmological observables and their combinatorial origin

QFT in nearly dS space-times and, more generally, in FRW backgrounds allows us to describe correlations at the end of inflation. However, how to extract fundamental physics out of them is still a challange: we do not even know how fundamental pillars such as causality and unitarity of time evolution constrain them. In this talk I will report on a recent program that aims to construct quantum mechanical observables in cosmology directly from first principles without making any reference to time evolution.

Spinning black holes fall in Love

The open question of whether a black hole can become tidally deformed by an external gravitational field has profound implications for fundamental physics, astrophysics and gravitational-wave astronomy. Love tensors characterize the tidal deformability of compact objects such as astrophysical (Kerr) black holes under an external static tidal field. We prove that all Love tensors vanish identically for a Kerr black hole in the nonspinning limit or for an axisymmetric tidal perturbation. In contrast to this result, we show that Love tensors are generically nonzero for a spinning black hole.

Gravitational Bremsstrahlung in the Post-Minkowskian expansion

I will discuss the scattering of two compact objects interacting via gravity, using the so-called world-line Effective Field Theory approach in the post-Minkowskian expansion (i.e. expanding in the Newton's constant G but not in the velocities). In particular, I will focus on the computation of classical observables such as the total emitted momentum. This is obtained by phase-space integration of the graviton momentum weighted by the modulo squared of the radiation amplitude.

Effective field theory approach to thermal bubble nucleation

The possibility of observing a stochastic gravitational wave background originating from a cosmological first-order phase transition elicits interest in studying the transitions. Currently, a limiting factor in accurately determining the gravitational wave spectrum from an underlying microphysical model is the calculation of the nucleation rate. I will discuss recent work in which we have proposed a new effective field theory (EFT) framework for determining the thermal nucleation rate in high-temperature QFTs.

On the perturbative expansion at high temperature and implications for cosmological phase transitions

A first-order phase transition in the early universe would have given rise to a stochastic gravitational wave background which may be observable today. In this talk, I will focus on the crucial problem of making reliable predictions of the thermodynamics of such phase transitions in the face of infrared Bose enhancements at high temperature. Such enhancements lead to large theoretical uncertainties in perturbation theory at low orders. I will unravel the structure of the perturbative expansion in this context, and of the misalignment between loop and coupling expansions.

Gravitational waves from the early-universe turbulent sources

A space-based laser interferometer, pioneered by NASA's LISA concept and now a ESA cornerstone mission, will enable direct detection of gravitational waves at lower frequencies than LIGO, without being limited by seismic noise. Perhaps the most intriguing source for LISA is the stochastic gravitational wave background produced by turbulent plasma motions in an early-universe, particularly at the electroweak energy scale.

Two recent topics in gravitational-wave cosmology: Binary resonance searches and nonlinear memory from cosmic strings

In the first half of this talk, I will discuss how binary systems can be used as dynamical detectors of gravitational waves (GWs)Since the passage of GWs through a binary perturbs the trajectories of the two bodies, we can infer the presence of a GW signal by searching for changes in the binary's orbital parameters. In the presence of a stochastic GW background (SGWB) these changes accumulate over time, causing the binary orbit to execute a random walk through parameter space.


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