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Interaction of gravitational waves with normal and superconducting matter
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
The Niels Bohr International Academy, The Niels Bohr Institute, Blegdamsvej 17, DK-2100 Copenhagen Ø, Denmark .
2012 (English)In: Physical Review D, ISSN 1550-7998, Vol. 85, no 6, 064036- p.Article in journal (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

We develop a unified formalism for describing the interaction of gravitational waves with matterthat clearly separates the effects of general relativity from those due to interactions in the matter.This allows one to take into account the microscopic character of the matter, and we derive a generalexpression for the dispersion of gravitational waves in matter in terms of correlation functions forthe matter in flat spacetime. The formalism enables one to derive simply previous results for thedispersion of gravitational waves in astrophysical plasmas. We also consider metals and show that,while simple estimates indicate that contributions of electrons to the stress tensor could be large,screening of the Coulomb interaction reduces these effects considerably. We consider both normaland superconducting metals, and show that in both cases, electrons and ions are locked togetherunder the influence of a gravitational wave with a frequency much less than the plasma frequencyand, consequently, charge separation has little effect on gravitational waves.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
American Physical Society , 2012. Vol. 85, no 6, 064036- p.
Keyword [en]
Astronomy & Astrophysics, Physics, Particles & Fields
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-38895DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.85.064036OAI: diva2:384323
Available from: 2011-01-10 Created: 2011-01-08 Last updated: 2012-04-20Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Excitations in Superfluids: From solitons to gravitational waves
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Excitations in Superfluids: From solitons to gravitational waves
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In 1995 two different research groups observed for the first time the Bose-Einstein condensation (BEC) in ultracold gases. When the confining magnetic trap was turned off the gas was left free to expand, and the velocity of the particles showed a clear peak: most of the particles were occupying the same single particle state, the one of lowest energy. The Bose-Einstein condensation had been predicted in 1925 by Einstein, written by inspiration of a work on the statistic of the photons by Bose (1924). In this work Bose described the behavior of an ensemble of photons, treating them as massless particles, with no number conservation associated. Einstein extended this approach to particles with a mass and with fixed number, creating what is now called the Bose-Einstein distribution. The particles that follow such a description are called ``bosons'', as opposed to the ``fermions'' of the Fermi-Dirac statistics. Einstein predicted that in a gas of bosons - under a critical temperature - a finite fraction of the total number of particles would have been in the ground state, and act as a single entity.


This amusing theoretical discovery found its utility a few years later. In the late thirties, new techniques allowed to cool Helium-4 at few Kelvins above the absolute zero. The properties of the resulting liquid were a puzzlement to the scientific community: among others, it could flow without experiencing friction. The liquid was called a ``superfluid''. A first explanation was given by London in 1938, which linked the superfluid behavior to the presence of a BEC among the bosonic Helium particles. The fermions cannot condense by themselves. On the other hand, they can form bound pairs and act as bosons, as it happens in a metal at low temperature. Using this approach, in 1957 Bardeen, Cooper and Schrieffer created a successful model of superconductivity by describing a superconductor as a superfluid in a charged system.


During the course of these years we explored the superfluid properties of Bosons and Fermions in different settings. The original contributions of the thesis are described starting from the third chapter, where we speak about the generation and stability of solitons in a periodic optical lattices, both fixed or in motion. In the fourth chapter we study the generation of giant vortices in cold fermions, by using a generalized hydrodynamical approach. In chapter 5 we study the effect of a quasiperiodic lattice and the glassy phase it produces on a gas of bosons. Finally, we study the interaction of normal matter and superfluids with gravitational waves. While this interaction is seen to be extremely small, we believe that the resulting formalism is interesting by itself.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet, Institutionen för fysik, 2011. 92 p.
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-38914 (URN)978-91-7459-129-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-02-03, Biologihuset, BiA 201, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 10:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2011-01-10 Created: 2011-01-10 Last updated: 2011-01-21Bibliographically approved

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Cetoli, Alberto
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