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The Conformal Anomaly Effective Theory of Gravity III: Scalar Gravitational Waves, Black Holes and Dark Energy

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In this third of 3 talks I will discuss the effects of the conformal anomaly in the low energy infrared relevant correction to General Relativity. Among the significant implications of this effective field theory of gravity are the prediction of scalar gravitational wave solutions—a spin-0 breather mode— in addition to the transversely polarized tensor waves of the classical Einstein theory. Astrophysical sources for scalar gravitational waves are considered, with the excited gluonic condensates in the interiors of neutron stars in merger events with other compact objects likely to provide the strongest burst signals. The conformal anomaly also implies generically large quantum back reaction effects and conformal correlators in the vicinity of black hole horizons which are relevant to the formation of a non-singular interior, as well as an additional scalar degree of freedom in cosmology, providing a theoretical foundation for dynamical vacuum dark energy.