Regular Article - Theoretical Physics
Gravitational waves and electrodynamics: new perspectives
Instituto de Astrofísica e Ciências do Espaço, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, Edifício C8, Campo Grande, 1749-016, Lisbon, Portugal
* e-mail: email@example.com
Accepted: 26 March 2017
Published online: 12 April 2017
Given the recent direct measurement of gravitational waves (GWs) by the LIGO–VIRGO collaboration, the coupling between electromagnetic fields and gravity have a special relevance since it opens new perspectives for future GW detectors and also potentially provides information on the physics of highly energetic GW sources. We explore such couplings using the field equations of electrodynamics on (pseudo) Riemann manifolds and apply it to the background of a GW, seen as a linear perturbation of Minkowski geometry. Electric and magnetic oscillations are induced that propagate as electromagnetic waves and contain information as regards the GW which generates them. The most relevant results are the presence of longitudinal modes and dynamical polarization patterns of electromagnetic radiation induced by GWs. These effects might be amplified using appropriate resonators, effectively improving the signal to noise ratio around a specific frequency. We also briefly address the generation of charge density fluctuations induced by GWs and the implications for astrophysics.
© The Author(s), 2017