General Relativity and Gravitation

, Volume 29, Issue 1, pp 117–140 | Cite as

Gravitational Waves in Matter

  • R. L. Ingraham


The theory of gravitational waves in matter is given. This covers the questions of constitutive relation, number of independent polarizations, index of refraction, reflection and refraction at an interface, etc. The theory parallels the familiar optics of electromagnetic waves in material media, but there are some striking differences. The use of the Campbell-Morgan formalism in which the gauge-invariant tidal force dyads E and B rather than the gauge-dependent metric perturbations are the unknowns is essential. The main justification of the theory at the moment is as a theoretical exercise worth doing. The assumption: size L of the medium ≫ gravitational wave length λ (“infinite medium”) rules out application to the already well-understood detection problem, but there may be an application to gravitational wave propagation through molecular gas clouds of galactic or inter-galactic size.



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© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1997

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  • R. L. Ingraham

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