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Optics in a nonlinear gravitational plane wave

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Harte,  Abraham I.
Astrophysical Relativity, AEI-Golm, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Max Planck Society;

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1502.03658.pdf
(Preprint), 841KB

document(3).pdf
(Any fulltext), 659KB

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Citation

Harte, A. I. (2015). Optics in a nonlinear gravitational plane wave. Classical and quantum gravity, 32(17): 175017. doi:10.1088/0264-9381/32/17/175017.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0024-D035-3
Abstract
Gravitational waves can act like gravitational lenses, affecting the observed positions, brightnesses, and redshifts of distant objects. Exact expressions for such effects are derived here, allowing for arbitrarily-moving sources and observers in the presence of plane-symmetric gravitational waves. The commonly-used predictions of linear perturbation theory are shown to be generically overshadowed---even for very weak gravitational waves---by nonlinear effects when considering observations of sufficiently distant sources; higher-order perturbative corrections involve secularly-growing terms which cannot necessarily be neglected. Even on more moderate scales where linear effects remain at least marginally dominant, nonlinear corrections are qualitatively different from their linear counterparts. There is a sense in which they can, for example, mimic the existence of a third type of gravitational wave polarization.