The Memory Effect for Plane Gravitational Waves [CL]

We give an account of the “gravitational memory effect” in the presence of an exact plane wave solution of Einstein’s vacuum equations. This allows an elementary but exact description of the soft gravitons and how their presence may be detected by observing the motion of freely falling particles.

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P. Zhang, C. Duval, G. Gibbons, et. al.
Mon, 24 Apr 17

Comments: 7 pages, 2 figures

Constraining spatial variations of the fine-structure constant in symmetron models [CEA]

We introduce a methodology to test models with spatial variations of the fine-structure constant $\alpha$, based on the calculation of the angular power spectrum of these measurements. This methodology enables comparisons of observations and theoretical models through their predictions on the statistics of the $\alpha$ variation. Here we apply it to the case of symmetron models. We find no indications of deviations from the standard behavior, with current data providing an upper limit to the strength of the symmetron coupling to gravity ($\log{\beta^2}<-0.9$) when this is the only free parameter, and not able to constrain the model when also the symmetry breaking scale factor $a_{SSB}$ is free to vary.

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A. Pinho, M. Martinelli and C. Martins
Mon, 24 Apr 17

Comments: Phys. Lett. B (in press)

Relativistic Static Thin Disks of Polarized Matter [CL]

An infinite family of exact solutions of the electrovacuum Einstein-Maxwell equations is presented. The family is static, axially symmetric and describe thin disks composed by electrically polarized material in a conformastatic spacetime. The form of the conformastatic metric allows us to write down the metric functions and the electromagnetic potentials in terms of a solution of the Laplace equation. We find a general expression for the surface energy density of the disk, the pressure, the polarization vector, the electromagnetic fields and the velocity rotation for circular orbits. As an example, we present the first model of the family and show the behavior of the different physical variables.

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A. Navarro, F. Lora-Clavijo and G. Gonzalez
Mon, 24 Apr 17

Comments: 7 pages, 4 figures, 70 and 70 Gravitation Fest, 28 September 2016, Cartagena, Colombia

Superradiance in rotating stars and pulsar-timing constraints on dark photons [CL]

In the presence of massive bosonic degrees of freedom, rotational superradiance can trigger an instability that spins down black holes. This leads to peculiar gravitational-wave signatures and distribution in the spin-mass plane, which in turn can impose stringent constraints on ultralight fields. Here, we demonstrate that there is an analogous spindown effect for conducting stars. We show that rotating stars amplify low frequency electromagnetic waves, and that this effect is largest when the time scale for conduction within the star is of the order of a light crossing time. This has interesting consequences for dark photons, as massive dark photons would cause stars to spin down due to superradiant instabilities. The time scale of the spindown depends on the mass of the dark photon, and on the rotation rate, compactness, and conductivity of the star. Existing measurements of the spindown rate of pulsars place direct constraints on models of dark sectors. Our analysis suggests that dark photons of mass $m_V \sim 10^{-12}$ eV are excluded by pulsar-timing observations. These constraints also exclude superradiant instabilities triggered by dark photons as an explanation for the spin limit of observed pulsars.

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V. Cardoso, P. Pani and T. Yu
Fri, 21 Apr 17

Comments: 13 pages, 4 figures

Decoupling gravitational sources in general relativity: from perfect to anisotropic fluids [CL]

We show the first simple, systematic and direct approach to decoupling gravitational sources in general relativity. As a direct application, a robust and simple way to generate anisotropic solutions for self-gravitating systems from perfect fluid solutions is presented.

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J. Ovalle
Fri, 21 Apr 17

Comments: 5 pages

Constraining Anisotropic Lorentz Violation via the Spectral-Lag Transition of GRB 160625B [HEAP]

Violations of Lorentz invariance can lead to an energy-dependent vacuum dispersion of light, which results in arrival-time differences of photons arising with different energies from a given transient source. In this work, direction-dependent dispersion constraints are obtained on nonbirefringent Lorentz-violating operators in effective field theory, using the observed spectral lags of the gamma-ray burst GRB 160625B. This burst has unusually large high-energy photon statistics, so we can obtain constraints from the true spectral time lags of bunches of high-energy photons rather than from the rough time lag of a single highest-energy photon. Also, GRB 160625B is the only burst to date having a well-defined transition from positive lags to negative lags, which provides a unique opportunity to distinguish Lorentz-violating effects from any source-intrinsic time lag in the emission of photons of different energy bands. Our results place comparatively robust two-sided constraints on a variety of isotropic and anisotropic coefficients for Lorentz violation, including first bounds on Lorentz-violating effects from operators of mass dimension ten in the photon sector.

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J. Wei, X. Wu, B. Zhang, et. al.
Fri, 21 Apr 17

Comments: 6 pages, 3 figures, 1 table

Clustering of Galaxies with Dynamical Dark Energy [CL]

In this paper, we study thermodynamics of the cluster of galaxies under the effect of dynamical dark energy. We evaluate the configurational integral for interacting system of galaxies in an expanding universe by including the effects produced by the varying $\Lambda$. The gravitational partition function is obtained using this configuration integral. We obtain thermodynamics quantities in canonical ensemble which depend on time and investigate the second law of thermodynamics. We also calculate the distribution function in grand canonical ensemble. The time evolution of the clustering parameter of galaxies is investigated for the time dependent (dynamical) dark energy. We conclude that the second law of thermodynamics is valid for the total system of cluster of galaxies and dynamical dark energy. We calculate correlation function and show that our model is very close to Peebles’s power law, in agreement with the N-body simulation. It is observed that thermodynamics quantities depend on the modified clustering parameter for this system of galaxies.

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B. Pourhassan, S. Upadhyay, M. Hameeda, et. al.
Fri, 21 Apr 17

Comments: 8 pages, 15 figures