Causality constraints on corrections to Einstein gravity

04/04/2022 10:00 am - 11:00 am

Swampland Seminar

Speakers: Simon Caron-Huot (McGill University) and Julio Parra (Caltech)

Title: Causality constraints on corrections to Einstein gravity

Abstract: We study constraints from causality and unitarity on 2→2 graviton scattering in four-dimensional weakly-coupled effective field theories. Together, causality and unitarity imply dispersion relations that connect low-energy observables to high-energy data. Using such dispersion relations, we derive two-sided bounds on gravitational Wilson coefficients in terms of the mass M of new higher-spin states. Our bounds imply that gravitational interactions must shut off uniformly in the limit G→0, and prove the scaling with M expected from dimensional analysis (up to an infrared logarithm). We speculate that causality, together with the non-observation of gravitationally-coupled higher-spin states at colliders, severely restricts modifications to Einstein gravity that could be probed by experiments in the near future.