Distinguished EPJ Referees

EPJ Plus Focus Point Issue: Focus Point on Higher Derivatives in Quantum Gravity: Theory, Tests, Phenomenology

The quantization of General Relativity via standard perturbative quantum field theory results in a quantum theory of gravity which is perturbatively non-renormalizable. This caused a proliferation of approaches to quantum gravity, based on different assumptions, ideas, and quantization methods. However, within many of these approaches the Einstein-Hilbert action is expected to be complemented by higher-derivative operators. In the framework of quadratic gravity, these higher-order terms are crucial to make gravity renormalizable and asymptotically free; in string theory infinitely many of these arise in the form of “corrections”; in non-local gravity infinitely many derivatives are introduced at the level of the bare action to achieve both renormalizability and perturbative unitarity; in asymptotically safe gravity and in the spin-foam approach to quantum gravity a similar structure is expected to emerge at the level of the quantum effective action. Higher derivatives are also key in the framework of effective field theory, whose results ought to be matched by all approaches to quantum gravity. Last but not least, higher derivatives could impact the phenomenology of black holes, the wave form of gravitational waves, and the early-universe cosmology.

The investigation of higher derivatives thus provides a fruitful and promising framework to constrain quantum gravity and to compare different approaches. This Focus Point Issue has the scope of bringing together different perspectives on the role of higher derivatives in quantum gravity, as well as their phenomenology and links to observational data.

A limited number of submissions, carefully selected by the guest editors and mostly upon formal invitation, will be peer-reviewed and, eventually, published in the present Focus Point Issue. Submissions can be either topical reviews on a particular perspective on higher derivatives in quantum gravity, or original articles. The deadline for submissions is the 31st of March, 2023. Extensions may be granted upon agreement with the guest editors.

Manuscripts should be prepared following the instructions for authors. A special latex template is available here. Authors should submit their article to the Editorial Office of EPJ Plus via the submission system at http://www.editorialmanager.com/epjp by replying "yes" to the question 'Are you submitting this manuscript following an invitation to contribute to a "focus point" (topical article collection by invitation of guest editors)?' and then selecting “Focus Point on Higher Derivatives in Quantum Gravity: Theory, Tests, Phenomenology".

Deadline for submissions: 31 March 2023. Suitable papers will be published if and as soon as accepted.

Guest Editors:

Luca Buoninfante, NORDITA, Hannes Alfvéns väg 12, 114 19 Stockholm, Sweden

Andrea Giusti, ETH Zürich, Institut für Theoretische Physik, HIT K 21.2, Wolfgang-Pauli-Str. 27, 8093 Zürich, Switzerland

Aaron Held, Institute for Theoretical Physics, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Abbeanum, Fröbelstieg 1, 07743 Jena, Germany

Benjamin Knorr, Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, 31 Caroline St N, Waterloo, ON N2L 2Y5, Canada

Alessia Platania, Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, 31 Caroline St N, Waterloo, ON N2L 2Y5, Canada

Open Access: EPJ Plus is a hybrid journal offering Open Access publication via the Open Choice programme and a growing number of Springer Compact “Publish and Read” arrangements which enable authors to publish OA at no direct cost (all costs are paid centrally).

Open calls for papers