Letter | Published:

Cosmological absorption of gravitational waves

Naturevolume 254pages205206 (1975) | Download Citation



SEVERAL people have investigated the absorption of electromagnetic and neutrino waves in cosmological models and discussed the self-consistency or otherwise, in the Wheeler–Feynman absorber theory of radiation, of retarded and advanced fields; a solution of the field equations is self-consistent if the absorption tends to completeness as the field propagates. Cosmological absorption of gravitational waves has been treated briefly by Hawking1. Here, the completeness or otherwise of the absorption of retarded and advanced gravitational waves will be investigated using a technique introduced, in the case of electromagnetic absorption, by Davies2; the technique applies to the Robertson–Walker cosmologies of arbitrary spatial curvature.

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  1. 1

    Hawking, S., Astrophys, J., 145, 544 (1966).

  2. 2

    Davies, P. C. W., J. Phys. A., 5, 1722 (1972).

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    Spitzer, L., Physics of Fully Ionized Gases, second ed., 146 (Interscience, New York and London, 1962).

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    Field, G. B., A. Rev. Astr. Astrophys., 10, 227 (1972).

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    Polnarev, A. G., Soviet Phys.—JETP, 35, 834 (1972).

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    Davies, P. C. W., Mon. Not. R. astr. Soc., 161, 1 (1973).

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    Could, R. J., A. Rev. Astr. Astrophys., 6, 195 (1968).

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    Brans, C., and Dicke, R. H., Phys. Rev., 124, 925 (1961).

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    • R. BURMAN

    Present address: Astronomy Centre, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton, BN1 9QH, UK


  1. Department of Physics, University of Western Australia, Nedlands, Western Australia, 6009

    • R. BURMAN


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