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Heavy fields and gravity

An Erratum to this article was published on 30 March 2017

A preprint version of the article is available at arXiv.


We study the effects of heavy fields on 4D spacetimes with flat, de Sitter and anti-de Sitter asymptotics. At low energies, matter generates specific, calculable higher derivative corrections to the GR action which perturbatively alter the Schwarzschild-(A)dS family of solutions. The effects of massive scalars, Dirac spinors and gauge fields are each considered. The six-derivative operators they produce, such as ∼ R 3 terms, generate the leading corrections. The induced changes to horizon radii, Hawking temperatures and entropies are found. Modifications to the energy of large AdS black holes are derived by imposing the first law. An explicit demonstration of the replica trick is provided, as it is used to derive black hole and cosmological horizon entropies. Considering entropy bounds, it’s found that scalars and fermions increase the entropy one can store inside a region bounded by a sphere of fixed size, but vectors lead to a decrease, oddly. We also demonstrate, however, that many of the corrections fall below the resolving power of the effective field theory and are therefore untrustworthy. Defining properties of black holes, such as the horizon area and Hawking temperature, prove to be remarkably robust against higher derivative gravitational corrections.


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ArXiv ePrint: 1611.02705

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Goon, G. Heavy fields and gravity. J. High Energ. Phys. 2017, 45 (2017).

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  • Black Holes
  • Effective field theories