Speaker: Oliver Gould

Stochastic gravitational waves from cosmological phase transitions

Planned space-based gravitational wave experiments, such as the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna, offer a new probe of the electroweak sector, through sensitivity to a first-order electroweak phase transition. This can yield quantitative information on Higgs couplings and physics beyond the Standard Model which is complementary to collider searches. Yet to realise this potential requires dramatically reducing the present large theoretical uncertainties in predictions of the gravitational wave spectrum. I will give an overview of our present understanding of this spectrum, and of the tools that have been developed to compute it. Effective field theory has been at the forefront of this development, and I will outline how it can be used to solve a number of long-standing theoretical problems.

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