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Phys Rev Lett. 2019 Mar 1;122(8):081301. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.122.081301.

Can We Probe Planckian Corrections at the Horizon Scale with Gravitational Waves?

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Center for Field Theory and Particle Physics, and Department of Physics, Fudan University, 200433 Shanghai, China.
eXtreme Gravity Institute, Department of Physics, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana 59717, USA.


Future detectors can be used as gravitational microscopes to probe the horizon structure of merging black holes with gravitational waves. But, can this microscope probe the quantum regime? We study this interesting question and find that (i) the error in the distance resolution is exponentially sensitive to errors in the Love number, (ii) the uncertainty principle of quantum gravity forces a fundamental resolution limit, and (iii) conclusions about the structure of spacetime at small distances rely on assumptions about the properties of the (unknown) compact objects considered.

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