Gravitational wave memory and its tail in cosmology

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We study gravitational wave memory effect in the Friedmann-Robertson-Walker cosmological model with matter and a cosmological constant. Since the background is curved, gravitational radiation develops a tail part arriving after the main signal that travels along the past light cone of the observer. First we discuss first order gravitational wave sourced by a binary system, and we find that the tail only gives a negligible memory, in accord with previous results. Then we study the nonlinear memory effect coming from induced gravitational radiation sourced by first order gravitational radiation propagating over cosmological distances. In the light cone part of the induced gravitational wave we find a novel term missed in previous studies of the cosmological memory effect. Furthermore, we show that the induced gravitational wave has a tail part that slowly accumulates after the light cone part has passed and grows to a sizeable magnitude over a cosmological timescale. This tail part of the memory effect will be a new component in the stochastic gravitational wave background.

Original languageEnglish
Article number064022
JournalPhysical Review D
Issue number6
Number of pages29
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sep 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank J. Kastikainen for useful discussions at different stages of this work. N. J. and M. S. have been supported in part by the Academy of Finland Grant No. 1322307. M. S. is also supported by the Finnish Cultural Foundation.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 American Physical Society.

Fields of Science

  • 114 Physical sciences

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