Rafael A. Porto - UCSB

Rafael A. Porto
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Rafael A. Porto

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General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology (44)
High Energy Physics - Theory (40)
High Energy Physics - Phenomenology (26)
Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (16)
Quantum Physics (12)
Astrophysics (8)
High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (2)
Physics - Classical Physics (1)
High Energy Physics - Lattice (1)
Physics - Popular Physics (1)

Publications Authored By Rafael A. Porto

We discuss the source of the apparent ambiguities arising in the calculation of the dynamics of binary black holes within the Post-Newtonian framework. Divergences appear in both the near and far zone calculations, and may be of either ultraviolet (UV) or infrared (IR) nature. The effective field theory (EFT) formalism elucidates the origin of the singularities which may introduce apparent ambiguities. Read More

We show that the correction to the gravitational binding energy for binary black holes due to the tail effect resembles the Lamb shift in the Hydrogen atom. In both cases a 'conservative' effect arises from interactions with 'radiation' modes, and moreover an explicit cancelation between near and far zone divergences is at work. In addition, regularization scheme-dependence may introduce ambiguity parameters. Read More

The LIGO results are among the greatest experimental achievements of all times. Time and again scientists have compared this feat to Galileo pointing his telescope to the sky, offering instead an 'ear' to the cosmos. After the remarkable landmark of detection, the physics community will soon turn into the study of the properties of the sources, addressing fundamental questions in astrophysics and cosmology. Read More

The black hole information paradox is among the most outstanding puzzles in physics. I argue here there is yet another black hole quandary which, in light of the recent direct detection of gravitational waves by Advanced LIGO, reveals a new window to probe the nature of spacetime in the forthcoming era of 'precision gravity.' Read More

We review the effective field theory (EFT) approach to gravitational dynamics. We focus on extended objects in long-wavelength backgrounds and gravitational wave emission from spinning binary systems. We conclude with an introduction to EFT methods for the study of cosmological large scale structures. Read More

We use the effective field theory (EFT) framework to calculate the tail effect in gravitational radiation reaction, which enters at 4PN order in the dynamics of a binary system. The computation entails a subtle interplay between the near (or potential) and far (or radiation) zones. In particular, we find that the tail contribution to the effective action is non-local in time, and features both a dissipative and a `conservative' term. Read More

We derive a non-perturbative equation for the large scale structure power spectrum of long-wavelength modes. Thereby, we use an operator product expansion together with relations between the three-point function and power spectrum in the soft limit. The resulting equation encodes the coupling to ultraviolet (UV) modes in two time-dependent coefficients, which may be obtained from response functions to (anisotropic) parameters, such as spatial curvature, in a modified cosmology. Read More

The analyticity of response functions and scattering amplitudes implies powerful relations between low-energy observables and the underlying short-distance dynamics. These 'IR/UV' relations are rooted in basic physical principles, such as causality and unitarity. In this paper, we seek similar connections in inflation, relating cosmological observations to the physics responsible for the accelerated expansion. Read More

We study soft limits of correlation functions for the density and velocity fields in the theory of structure formation. First, we re-derive the (resummed) consistency conditions at unequal times using the eikonal approximation. These are solely based on symmetry arguments and are therefore universal. Read More

Observations of the cosmic microwave background do not yet determine whether inflation was driven by a slowly-rolling scalar field or involved another physical mechanism. In this paper we discuss the prospects of using the power spectra of scalar and tensor modes to probe the nature of inflation. We focus on the leading modification to the slow-roll dynamics, which entails a sound speed $c_s$ for the scalar fluctuations. Read More

We summarize the parallel session B4: 'Analytic approximations, perturbation theory effective field theory methods and their applications' and the joint session B2/B4: 'Approximate solutions to Einstein equations: Methods and Applications', of the GR20 & Amaldi10 conference in Warsaw, July 2013. The contributed talks reported significant advances on various areas of research in gravity. Read More

We introduce a Lagrangian-space Effective Field Theory (LEFT) formalism for the study of cosmological large scale structures. Unlike the previous Eulerian-space construction, it is naturally formulated as an effective field theory of extended objects in Lagrangian space. In LEFT the resulting finite size effects are described using a multipole expansion parameterized by a set of time dependent coefficients and organized in powers of the ratio of the wavenumber of interest $k$ over the non-linear scale $k_{\rm NL}$. Read More

The n-point correlation functions in single-field inflation obey a set of consistency conditions in the exact squeezed limit which are not present in multi-field models, and thus are powerful tools to distinguish between the two. However, these consistency conditions may be violated for a finite range of scales in single-field models, for example by departures from the Bunch-Davies state. These it excited states may be the consequence of interactions during inflation, or may be a remnant of the era that preceded inflation. Read More

We study the gravitational self-force using the effective field theory formalism. We show that in the ultra-relativistic limit \gamma \to \infty, with \gamma the boost factor, many simplifications arise. Drawing parallels with the large N limit in quantum field theory, we introduce the parameter 1/N = 1/\gamma^2 and show that the effective action admits a well defined expansion in powers of \lambda = N\epsilon, at each order in 1/N, where \epsilon = E_m/M and E_m=\gamma m is the (kinetic) energy of the small mass. Read More

We introduce dissipative effects in the effective field theory of hydrodynamics. We do this in a model-independent fashion by coupling the long-distance degrees of freedom explicitly kept in the effective field theory to a generic sector that "lives in the fluid", which corresponds physically to the microscopic constituents of the fluid. At linear order in perturbations, the symmetries, the derivative expansion, and the assumption that this microscopic sector is thermalized, allow us to characterize the leading dissipative effects at low frequencies via three parameters only, which correspond to bulk viscosity, shear viscosity, and--in the presence of a conserved charge--heat conduction. Read More

We generalize the consistency condition for the three-point function in single field inflation to the case of dissipative, multi-field, single-clock models. We use the recently introduced extension of the effective field theory of inflation that accounts for dissipative effects, to provide an explicit proof to leading (non-trivial) order in the generalized slow roll parameters and mixing with gravity scales. Our results illustrate the conditions necessary for the validity of the consistency relation in situations with many degrees of freedom relevant during inflation, namely that there is a preferred clock. Read More

Using the NRGR effective field theory formalism we calculate the remaining source multipole moments necessary to obtain the spin contributions to the gravitational wave amplitude to 2.5 Post-Newtonian (PN) order. We also reproduce the tail contribution to the waveform linear in spin at 2. Read More

We generalize the effective field theory of single clock inflation to include dissipative effects. Working in unitary gauge we couple a set of composite operators in the effective action which is constrained solely by invariance under time-dependent spatial diffeomorphisms. We restrict ourselves to situations where the degrees of freedom responsible for dissipation do no contribute to the density perturbations at late time. Read More

Using effective field theory techniques we calculate the source multipole moments needed to obtain the spin contributions to the power radiated in gravitational waves from inspiralling compact binaries to third Post-Newtonian order (3PN). The multipoles depend linearly and quadratically on the spins and include both spin(1)spin(2) and spin(1)spin(1) components. The results in this paper provide the last missing ingredient required to determine the phase evolution to 3PN including all spin effects which we will report in a separate paper. Read More

Using effective field theory (EFT) techniques we calculate the next-to-leading order (NLO) spin-orbit contributions to the gravitational potential of inspiralling compact binaries. We use the covariant spin supplementarity condition (SSC), and explicitly prove the equivalence with previous results by Faye et al. in arXiv:gr-qc/0605139. Read More

We speculate on the dynamical critical behavior of gravity in the extreme ultra-infrared (EuIR) sector and a mechanism to relax the cosmological constant. We show that in the EuIR the cosmological constant term could be made irrelevant for values of the dynamical critical exponent z_EuIR greater than one. We discuss a possible realization of this idea that connects the relaxation of the cosmological constant to the ratio between the EuIR and IR scales, where the latter serves as the 'UV' cutoff of our (ultra long distance) effective theory, with z_IR ~ 1. Read More

We investigate the hypothesized existence of an S-matrix for gravity, and some of its expected general properties. We first discuss basic questions regarding existence of such a matrix, including those of infrared divergences and description of asymptotic states. Distinct scattering behavior occurs in the Born, eikonal, and strong gravity regimes, and we describe aspects of both the partial wave and momentum space amplitudes, and their analytic properties, from these regimes. Read More

We combine the "evolving constants" approach to the construction of observables in canonical quantum gravity with the Page--Wootters formulation of quantum mechanics with a relational time for generally covariant systems. This overcomes the objections levied by Kucha\v{r} against the latter formalism. The construction is formulated entirely in terms of Dirac observables, avoiding in all cases the physical observation of quantities that do not belong in the physical Hilbert space. Read More

We extend the Private Higgs scenario to account for charged lepton and neutrino masses by introducing a private Higgs field for each lepton family. We analyze a model in which neutrino Majorana masses are radiatively induced. Contrary to previous models the neutrino mass scale ~ 10^{-2} eV is naturally obtained without excessive fine tunings. Read More

Using effective field theory techniques we compute the next to leading order Spin(1)Spin(1) terms in the potential of spinning compact objects at third Post-Newtonian order, including sub-leading self-induced finite size effects. This result represents the last ingredient to complete the relevant spin potentials to 3PN order from which the equations of motion follow via a canonical formalism. As an example we include the precession equation. Read More

We use effective field theory techniques to compute the potentials due to spin-spin and spin-orbit effects, from which the spin(1)spin(2) contribution to the motion of spinning compact binaries to third Post-Newtonian (PN) order follow. We use a formalism which allows us to impose the spin supplementarity condition (SSC) in a canonical framework to all orders in the PN expansion. We explicitly show the equivalence with our previous results, obtained using the Newton-Wigner SSC at the level of the action for spin-spin and spin-orbit potentials reported in arXiv:gr-qc/0604099 and arXiv:0712. Read More

In this comment we explain the discrepancy found between the results in arXiv:0712.1716v1 for the 3PN spin-spin potential and those previously derived in gr-qc/0604099. We point out that to compare one must include sub-leading lower order spin-orbit effects which contribute to the spin-spin potential once one transforms to the PN frame. Read More

We introduce Higgs democracy in the Yukawa sector by constructing a model with a private Higgs and a dark scalar for each fermion thus addressing the large hierarchy among fermion masses. The model has interesting implications for the LHC, while the Standard Model phenomenology is recovered at low energies. We discuss some phenomenological implications such as FCNC, new Higgses at the TeV scale and dark matter candidates. Read More

We generalize the effective point particle approach to black hole dynamics to include spin. In this approach dissipative effects are captured by degrees of freedom localized on the wordline. The absorptive properties of the black hole are determined by correlation functions which can be matched with the graviton absorption cross section in the long wavelength approximation. Read More

We show that the use of real measuring rods in quantum mechanics places a fundamental gravitational limit to the level of entanglement that one can ultimately achieve in quantum systems. The result can be seen as a direct consequence of the fundamental gravitational limitations in the measurements of length and time in realistic physical systems. The effect may have implications for long distance teleportation and the measurement problem in quantum mechanics. Read More

The problem of motion in General Relativity has lost its academic status and become an active research area since the next generation of gravity wave detectors will rely upon its solution. Here we will show, within scalar gravity, how ideas borrowed from Quantum Field Theory can be used to solve the problem of motion in a systematic fashion. We will concentrate in Post-Newtonian corrections. Read More

NRGR, an Effective Field Theory approach to gravity, has emerged as a powerful tool to systematically compute higher order corrections in the Post-Newtonian expansion. Here we discuss in somehow more detail the recently reported new results for the spin-spin gravitational potential at third Post-Newtonian order. Read More

Unitarity is a pillar of quantum theory. Nevertheless, it is also a source of several of its conceptual problems. We note that in a world where measurements are relational, as is the case in gravitation, quantum mechanics exhibits a fundamental level of loss of coherence. Read More

We show that the coefficients of operators in the electroweak chiral Lagrangian can be bounded if the underlying theory obeys the usual assumptions of Lorentz invariance, analyticity, unitarity and crossing to arbitrarily short distances. Violations of these bounds can be explained by either the existence of new physics below the naive cut-off of the the effective theory, or by the breakdown of one of these assumptions in the short distance theory. As a corollary, if no light resonances are found, then a measured violation of the bound would falsify generic models of string theory. Read More

We use recently developed effective field theory techniques to calculate the third order post-Newtonian correction to the spin-spin potential between two spinning objects. This correction represents the first contribution to the spin-spin interaction due to the non-linear nature of general relativity and will play an important role in forthcoming gravity wave experiments. Read More

We present a discussion of the fundamental loss of unitarity that appears in quantum mechanics due to the use of a physical apparatus to measure time. This induces a decoherence effect that is independent of any interaction with the environment and appears in addition to any usual environmental decoherence. The discussion is framed self consistently and aimed to general physicists. Read More

In this paper we include spin and multipole moment effects in the formalism used to describe the motion of extended objects recently introduced in hep-th/0409156. A suitable description for spinning bodies is developed and spin-orbit, spin-spin and quadrupole-spin Hamiltonians are found at leading order. The existence of tidal, as well as self induced finite size effects is shown, and the contribution to the Hamiltonian is calculated in the latter. Read More

Lloyd has considered the ultimate limitations physics places on quantum computers. He concludes in particular that for an ``ultimate laptop'' (a computer of one liter of volume and one kilogram of mass) the maximum number of operations per second is bounded by $10^{51}$. The limit is derived considering ordinary quantum mechanics. Read More

A recently introduced discrete formalism allows to solve the problem of time in quantum gravity in a relational manner. Quantum mechanics formulated with a relational time is not exactly unitary and implies a fundamental mechanism for decoherence of quantum states. The mechanism is strong enough to render the black hole information puzzle unobservable. Read More

We have recently argued that if one introduces a relational time in quantum mechanics and quantum gravity, the resulting quantum theory is such that pure states evolve into mixed states. The rate at which states decohere depends on the energy of the states. There is therefore the question of how this can be reconciled with Galilean invariance. Read More

Ordinary quantum mechanics is formulated on the basis of the existence of an ideal classical clock external to the system under study. This is clearly an idealization. As emphasized originally by Salecker and Wigner and more recently by other authors, there exist limits in nature to how ``classical'' even the best possible clock can be. Read More

We analyze the canonical treatment of classical constrained mechanical systems formulated with a discrete time. We prove that under very general conditions, it is possible to introduce nonsingular canonical transformations that preserve the constraint surface and the Poisson or Dirac bracket structure. The conditions for the preservation of the constraints are more stringent than in the continuous case and as a consequence some of the continuum constraints become second class upon discretization and need to be solved by fixing their associated Lagrange multipliers. Read More

The introduction of a relational time in quantum gravity naturally implies that pure quantum states evolve into mixed quantum states. We show, using a recently proposed concrete implementation, that the rate at which pure states naturally evolve into mixed ones is faster than that due to collapsing into a black hole that later evaporates. This is rather remarkable since the fundamental mechanism for decoherence is usually very weak. Read More

The use of a relational time in quantum mechanics is a framework in which one promotes to quantum operators all variables in a system, and later chooses one of the variables to operate like a ``clock''. Conditional probabilities are computed for variables of the system to take certain values when the ``clock'' specifies a certain time. This framework is attractive in contexts where the assumption of usual quantum mechanics of the existence of an external, perfectly classical clock, appears unnatural, as in quantum cosmology. Read More

We show that a recent proposal for the quantization of gravity based on discrete space-time implies a modification of standard quantum mechanics that naturally leads to a loss of coherence in quantum states of the type discussed by Milburn. The proposal overcomes the energy conservation problem of previously proposed decoherence mechanisms stemming from quantum gravity. Mesoscopic quantum systems (as Bose--Einstein condensates) appear as the most promising testing grounds for an experimental verification of the mechanism. Read More

The recently introduced consistent discrete lattice formulation of canonical general relativity produces a discrete theory that is constraint-free. This immediately allows to overcome several of the traditional obstacles posed by the ``problem of time'' in totally constrained systems and quantum gravity and cosmology. In particular, one can implement the Page--Wootters relational quantization. Read More

Causality imposes strong restrictions on the type of operators that may be observables in relativistic quantum theories. In fact, causal violations arise when computing conditional probabilities for certain partial causally connected measurements using the standard non covariant procedure. Here we introduce another way of computing conditional probabilities, based on an intrinsic covariant relational order of the events, which differs from the standard one when these type of measurements are included. Read More

We have recently introduced a realistic, covariant, interpretation for the reduction process in relativistic quantum mechanics. The basic problem for a covariant description is the dependence of the states on the frame within which collapse takes place. A suitable use of the causal structure of the devices involved in the measurement process allowed us to introduce a covariant notion for the collapse of quantum states. Read More

Up to now it has been impossible to find a realistic interpretation for the reduction process in relativistic quantum mechanics. The basic problem is the dependence of the states on the frame within which collapse takes place. A suitable use of the causal structure of the devices involved in the measurement process allows us to introduce a covariant notion for the collapse of quantum states. Read More