Regular Article - Theoretical Physics
Birefringence induced by pp-wave modes in an electromagnetically active dynamic aether
Department of General Relativity and Gravitation, Institute of Physics, Kazan Federal University, Kremlevskaya street 18, Kazan, 420008, Russia
* e-mail: Alexander.Balakin@kpfu.ru
Accepted: 10 October 2017
Published online: 23 October 2017
In the framework of the Einstein–Maxwell-aether theory we study the birefringence effect, which can occur in the pp-wave symmetric dynamic aether. The dynamic aether is considered to be a latently birefringent quasi-medium, which displays this hidden property if and only if the aether motion is non-uniform, i.e., when the aether flow is characterized by the non-vanishing expansion, shear, vorticity or acceleration. In accordance with the dynamo-optical scheme of description of the interaction between electromagnetic waves and the dynamic aether, we shall model the susceptibility tensors by the terms linear in the covariant derivative of the aether velocity four-vector. When the pp-wave modes appear in the dynamic aether, we deal with a gravitationally induced degeneracy removal with respect to hidden susceptibility parameters. As a consequence, the phase velocities of electromagnetic waves possessing orthogonal polarizations do not coincide, thus displaying the birefringence effect. Two electromagnetic field configurations are studied in detail: longitudinal and transversal with respect to the aether pp-wave front. For both cases the solutions are found, which reveal anomalies in the electromagnetic response on the action of the pp-wave aether mode.
© The Author(s), 2017