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Paper IPM / Astronomy / 15608  


Abstract:  
Gravitons are the quantum counterparts of gravitational waves in lowenergy theories of gravity. Using Feynman rules one can compute scattering amplitudes describing the interaction between gravitons and other fields. Here, we consider the interaction between gravitons and photons. Using the quantum Boltzmann equation formalism, we derive fully general equations describing the radiation transfer of photon polarization, due to the forward scattering with gravitons. We show that the Q and U photon linear polarization modes couple with the V photon circular polarization mode, if gravitons have anisotropies in their powerspectrum statistics. As an example, we apply our results to the case of primordial gravitons, considering models of inflation where an anisotropic primordial graviton distribution is produced. Finally, we evaluate the effect on cosmic microwave background (CMB) polarization, showing that in general the expected effects on the observable CMB frequencies are very small. However, our result is promising, since it could provide a novel tool for detecting anisotropic backgrounds of gravitational waves, as well as for getting further insight on the physics of gravitational waves
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