Gauge-invariant quantum gravitational corrections to correlation functions

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A recent proposal for gauge-invariant observables in inflation [R. Brunetti et al., JHEP 1608 (2016) 032] is examined. We give a generalisation of their construction to general background spacetimes. In flat space, we calculate one-loop graviton corrections to a scalar two-point function in a general gauge for the graviton. We explicitely show how the gauge-dependent terms cancel between the usual self-energy contributions and the additional corrections inherent in these observables. The one-loop corrections have the expected functional form, contrary to another recently studied proposal for gauge-invariant observables [M. B. Fröb, Class. Quant. Grav. 35 (2018) 035005] where this is not the case. Furthermore, we determine the one-loop graviton corrections to the four-point coupling of the gauge-invariant scalar field, and the corresponding running of the coupling constant induced by graviton loops. Interestingly, the β function is negative for all values of the non-minimal coupling of the scalar field to curvature.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages30
JournalClassical and Quantum Gravity
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018

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