Chapter

Linearized theory and gravitational waves

Ta-Pei Cheng

in Relativity, Gravitation and Cosmology

Second edition

Published in print November 2009 | ISBN: 9780199573639
Published online February 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191722448 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199573639.003.0015

Series: Oxford Master Series in Physics

                      Linearized theory and gravitational waves

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In the weak-field limit Einstein's equation can be linearized and it takes on form of the familiar wave equation. Gravitational waves may be viewed as ripples of curvature propagating in a background of flat spacetime. The strategy of detecting such tidal forces by a gravitational wave interferometer is outlined. The rate of energy loss due to the quadrupole radiation by a circulating binary system is calculated, and found in excellent agreement with the observed orbit decay rate of the Hulse-Taylor binary pulsar.

Keywords: Einstein's equation; linearized theory of metric field; gravitational wave; polarization; detection by interferometer; quadrupole radiation; Hulse-Taylor binary pulsar

Chapter.  10860 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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