Bending of light by gravitational waves from localized sources


Sergei M. Kopeikin, Gerhard Schäfer, Jena


Complete text (abstract only):

The extremely high precision of current radio interferometric observations requires a better theoretical treatment of secondary effects in the propagation of electromagnetic signals in gravitational fields of astrophysical objects. Especially important is the problem of propagation of light rays in the field of gravitational waves emitted from localized sources.

A consistent approach is presented in which the propagation equations of light rays are integrated in linear approximation in the Newtonian gravitational constant and in the static monopole, spin, and time-dependent quadrupole moment approximation of the gravitational field. We demonstrate for the first time that the equations of light propagation in the retarded gravitational field of an arbitrary localized source emitting gravitational waves can be exactly integrated in closed form. The contributions as well from the wave zone of the gravitational field as from the intermediate and near zones are taken into account. We reproduce the known results of integration of equations of light rays, both in a stationary gravitational field and in the field of plane gravitational waves. Analytic expressions for light deflection and integrated time delay are obtained for various relative locations of the source of gravitational waves, the source of light rays (star, quasar), and the observer. The relevance of the developed formalism for present and future radio interferometric observations is discussed.


A comprehensive article will be submitted to Phys. Rev. D: »Astrometric and Timing Effects of Gravitational Waves from Localized Sources« by S. M. Kopeikin, G. Schäfer, C. R. Gwinn and T. M. Eubanks.


Bibliographical details:

Sergei M. Kopeikin, Gerhard Schäfer: Bending of light by gravitational waves from localized sources. In: Peter Brosche, Wolfgang R. Dick, Oliver Schwarz, Roland Wielen (Eds.): The Message of the Angles - Astrometry from 1798 to 1998. Proceedings of the International Spring Meeting of the Astronomische Gesellschaft, Gotha, May 11-15, 1998. (Acta Historica Astronomiae ; 3). Thun ; Frankfurt am Main : Deutsch, 1998, p. 240.