Dispersion of gravitational waves in cold spherical interstellar medium

Dániel Barta, M. Vasúth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We investigate the propagation of locally plane, small-amplitude, monochromatic gravitational waves (GWs) through cold compressible interstellar gas in order to provide a more accurate picture of expected waveforms for direct detection. The quasi-isothermal gas is concentrated in a spherical symmetric cloud held together by self-gravitation. Gravitational waves can be treated as linearized perturbations on the background inner Schwarzschild spacetime. The perturbed quantities lead to the field equations governing the gas dynamics and describe the interaction of gravitational waves with matter. We have shown that the transport equation of these amplitudes provides numerical solutions for the frequency-alteration. The decrease in frequency is driven by the energy dissipating process of GW-matter interactions. The decrease is significantly smaller than the magnitude of the original frequency and too small to be detectable by present second-generation and planned third-generation detectors. It exhibits a power-law relationship between original and decreased frequencies. The frequency deviation was examined particularly for the transient signal GW150914.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1850040
JournalInternational Journal of Modern Physics D
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2018


  • Gravitational waves
  • relativity and gravitation
  • wave propagation and interactions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mathematical Physics
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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