Regular Article - Theoretical Physics
Massive relic gravitational waves from f(R) theories of gravity: production and potential detection
Associazione Galileo Galilei, Via Pier Cironi 16, 59100, Prato, Italy
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Revised: 17 June 2009
Published online: 28 October 2009
The production of a stochastic background of relic gravitational waves is well known in various works in the literature, where, by using the so called adiabatically-amplified zero-point fluctuations process, it has been shown how the standard inflationary scenario for the early universe can in principle provide a distinctive spectrum of relic gravitational waves. In this paper, it is shown that, in general, f(R) theories of gravity produce a third massive polarization of gravitational waves and the primordial production of this polarization is analyzed adapting the adiabatically-amplified zero-point fluctuations process at this case. In this way, previous results, where only particular cases of f(R) theories have been analyzed, will be generalized.
The presence of the mass could also have important applications in cosmology, because the fact that gravitational waves can have mass could give a contribution to the dark matter of the Universe.
An upper bound for these relic gravitational waves, which arises from the WMAP constrains, is also mentioned.
At the end of the paper, the potential detection of such massive gravitational waves using interferometers like Virgo and LIGO is discussed.
© Springer-Verlag , 2010