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Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Physics

Year Degree Awarded

2016

Month Degree Awarded

September

First Advisor

John F. Donoghue

Subject Categories

Elementary Particles and Fields and String Theory | Quantum Physics

Abstract

Although perturbatively non-renormalizable, general relativity is a perfectly valid quantum theory at low energies. Treated as an effective field theory one is able to make genuine quantum predictions by applying the conventional rules of quantum field theory. The low energy degrees of freedom and couplings of quantum gravity are fully dictated by the symmetries of general relativity. To realize the full EFT treatment one has to supplement the theory with experimental input necessary to fix the Wilson coefficients of the most general Lagrangian. In spite of the fact that this is not feasible, one can still extract the leading quantum corrections which are precisely induced by the low-energy fluctuations of the massless graviton. The long-distance portion of loops is non-analytic in momentum space or equivalently non-local in position space. In this thesis we are going to study the construction, properties and phenomenology of these non-local effects.

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