Matter Quantum Corrections to the Graviton Self-Energy and the Newtonian Potential

Daniel Burns, Apostolos Pilaftsis

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    We revisit the calculation of matter quantum effects on the graviton self-energy on a flat Minkowski background, with the aim to acquire a deeper understanding of the mechanism that renders the graviton massless. To this end, we derive a low-energy theorem which directly relates the radiative corrections of the cosmological constant to those of the graviton mass to all orders in perturbation theory. As an illustrative example, we consider an Abelian Higgs model with minimal coupling to gravity and show explicitly how a suitable renormalization of the cosmological constant leads to the vanishing of the graviton mass at the one-loop level. In the same Abelian Higgs model, we also calculate the matter quantum corrections to the Newtonian potential and present analytical formulae in terms of modified Bessel and Struve functions of the particle masses in the loop. We show that the correction to the Newtonian potential exhibits an exponential fall-off dependence on the distance r, once the non-relativistic limit with respect to the non-zero loop mass is carefully considered. For massless scalars, fermions and gauge bosons in the loops, we recover the well-known results presented in the literature.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number064047
    Pages (from-to)064047
    Number of pages27
    JournalPhysical Review D (Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology)
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 20 Mar 2015


    • Quantum Gravity, Newtonian Potential


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