Abstract:
The leading long-distance 1-loop quantum corrections to the Coulomb potential are derived for scalar QED and their gauge-independence is explicitly checked. The potential is obtained from the direct calculation of the 2-particle scattering amplitude, taking into account all relevant 1-loop diagrams. Our investigation should be regarded as a first step towards the same programme for effective Quantum Gravity. In particular, with our calculation in the framework of scalar QED, we are able to demonstrate the incompleteness of some previous studies concerning the Quantum Gravity counterpart.

Abstract:
It is known that any explicit averaging scheme of the type essential for describing the large scale behaviour of the Universe, must necessarily yield corrections to the Einstein equations applied in the Cosmological setting. The question of whether or not the resulting corrections to the Einstein equations are significant, is still a subject of debate, partly due to possible ambiguities in the averaging schemes available. In particular, it has been argued in the literature that the effects of averaging could be gauge artifacts. We apply the formalism of Zalaletdinov's Macroscopic Gravity (MG) which is a fully covariant and nonperturbative averaging scheme, in an attempt to construct gauge independent corrections to the standard Friedmann-Lemaitre-Robertson-Walker (FLRW) equations. We find that whereas one cannot escape the problem of dependence on \emph{one} gauge choice -- which is inherent in the assumption of large scale homogeneity and isotropy -- it is however possible to construct \emph{spacetime scalar} corrections to the standard FLRW equations. This partially addresses the criticism concerning the corrections being gauge artifacts. For a particular initial choice of gauge which simplifies the formalism, we explicitly construct these scalars in terms of the underlying inhomogeneous geometry, and incidentally demonstrate that the formal structure of the corrections with this gauge choice is identical to that of analogous corrections derived by Buchert in the context of spatial averaging of scalars.

Abstract:
A consistent approach to Cosmology requires an explicit averaging of the Einstein equations, to describe a homogeneous and isotropic geometry. Such an averaging will in general modify the Einstein equations. The averaging procedure due to Buchert has attracted considerable attention recently since it offers the tantalizing hope of explaining the phenomenon of dark energy through such corrections. This approach has been criticized, however, on the grounds that its effects may be gauge artifacts. We apply the fully covariant formalism of Zalaletdinov's Macroscopic Gravity and show that, after making some essential gauge choices, the Cosmological equations receive \emph{spacetime scalar} corrections which are therefore observable in principle, and further, that the broad structure of these corrections is \emph{identical} to those derived by Buchert.

Abstract:
We formulate the equations of motion of a free scalar field in the flat and $AdS$ space of an arbitrary dimension in the form of some "higher spin" covariant constancy conditions. Klein-Gordon equation is interpreted as a non-trivial cohomology of a certain "\sgm-complex". The action principle for a scalar field is formulated in terms of the "higher-spin" covariant derivatives for an arbitrary mass in $AdS_d$ and for a non-zero mass in the flat space. The constructed action is shown to be equivalent to the standard first-order Klein-Gordon action at the quadratic level but becomes different at the interaction level because of the presence of an infinite set of auxiliary fields which do not contribute at the free level. The example of Yang-Mills current interaction is considered in some detail. It is shown in particular how the proposed action generates the pseudolocally exact form of the matter currents in $AdS_d$.

Abstract:
We consider the space-time variation of gauge couplings in brane-world models induced by the coupling to a bulk scalar field. A variation is generated by the running of the gauge couplings with energy and a conformal anomaly while going from the Jordan to the Einstein frame. We indicate that the one-loop corrections cancel implying that one obtains a variation of the fine structure constant by either directly coupling the gauge fields to the bulk scalar field or having bulk scalar field dependent Yukawa couplings. Taking into account the cosmological dynamics of the bulk scalar field, we constrain the strength of the gauge coupling dependence on the bulk scalar field and relate it to modifications of gravity at low energy.

Abstract:
The local and global thermal phase structure for asymptotically anti-de Sitter black holes charged under an abelian gauge group, with both Gauss-Bonnet and quartic field strength corrections, is mapped out for all parameter space. We work in the grand canonical ensemble where the external electric potential is held fixed. The analysis is performed in an arbitrary number of dimensions, for all three possible horizon topologies - spherical, flat or hyperbolic. For spherical horizons, new metastable configurations are exhibited both for the pure Gauss-Bonnet theory as well as the pure higher derivative gauge theory and combinations thereof. In the pure Gauss-Bonnet theory with negative coefficient and five or more spatial dimensions, two locally thermally stable black hole solutions are found for a given temperature. Either one or both of them may be thermally favored over the anti-de Sitter vacuum - corresponding to a single or a double decay channel for the metastable black hole. Similar metastable configurations are uncovered for the theory with pure quartic field strength corrections, as well combinations of the two types of corrections, in three or more spatial dimensions. Finally, a secondary Hawking-Page transition between the smaller thermally favored black hole and thermal anti-de Sitter space is observed when both corrections are turned on and their couplings are both positive.

Abstract:
Following some ideas in the Landau book, some corrections about errors in the old literature on scalar gravitational waves are given and discussed. Even if such errors can be considered not important from the point of view of observations, because they do not alter the interferometric response function for scalar gravitational waves, the presented analysis is due and very important for a sake of completeness and for a better understanding of the linearized theory of Scalar-Tensor Gravity

Abstract:
We obtain magnetic black-hole solutions in arbitrary $n(\ge 4)$ even dimensions for an action given by the Einstein-Gauss-Bonnet-Maxwell-$\Lambda$ pieces with the $F^4$ gauge-correction terms. This action arises in the low energy limit of heterotic string theory with constant dilaton and vanishing higher form fields. The spacetime is assumed to be a warped product ${\ma M}^{2} \times {\ma K}^{n-2}$, where ${\ma K}^{n-2}$ is a $(n-2)$-dimensional Einstein space satisfying a condition on its Weyl tensor, originally considered by Dotti and Gleiser. Under a few reasonable assumptions, we establish the generalized Jebsen-Birkhoff theorem for the magnetic solution in the case where the orbit of the warp factor on ${\ma K}^{n-2}$ is non-null. We prove that such magnetic solutions do not exist in odd dimensions. In contrast, in even dimensions, we obtain an explicit solution in the case where ${\ma K}^{n-2}$ is a product manifold of $(n-2)/2$ two-dimensional maximally symmetric spaces with the same constant warp factors. In this latter case, we show that the global structure of the spacetime sharply depends on the existence of the gauge-correction terms as well as the number of spacetime dimensions.

Abstract:
We show that, by adding a gauge singlet scalar S to the standard model which is nonminimally coupled to gravity, S can act both as the inflaton and as thermal relic dark matter. We obtain the allowed region of the (m_s, m_h) parameter space which gives a spectral index in agreement with observational bounds and also produces the observed dark matter density while not violating vacuum stability or nonperturbativity constraints. We show that, in contrast to the case of Higgs inflation, once quantum corrections are included the spectral index is significantly larger than the classical value (n = 0.966 for N = 60) for all allowed values of the Higgs mass m_h. The range of Higgs mass compatible with the constraints is 145 GeV < m_h < 170 GeV. The S mass lies in the range 45 GeV < ms < 1 TeV for the case of a real S scalar with large quartic self-coupling lambdas, with a smaller upper bound for smaller lambdas. A region of the parameter space is accessible to direct searches at the LHC via h-->SS, while future direct dark matter searches should be able to significantly constrain the model.

Abstract:
We take the first nontrivial coefficient of the Schwinger-DeWitt expansion as a leading correction to the action of the second-derivative metric-dilaton gravity. To fix the ambiguities related with an arbitrary choice of the gauge fixing condition and the parametrization for the quantum field, one has to use the classical equations of motion. As a result, the only corrections are the ones to the potential of the scalar field. It turns out that the parameters of the initial classical action may be chosen in such a way that the potential satisfies most of the conditions for successful inflation.