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Gravitational WavesVolume 1: Theory and Experiments$
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Michele Maggiore

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780198570745

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198570745.001.0001

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5 GW generation by post-Newtonian sources

5 GW generation by post-Newtonian sources

(p.236) 5 GW generation by post-Newtonian sources
Gravitational Waves

Michele Maggiore

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses how to go beyond the limit of sources moving in flat space-time. For a self-gravitating system such as a binary star, assuming that space-time is flat means that its dynamics is described using Newtonian gravity, rather than general relativity. When dealing with a (moderately) relativistic system, held together by gravitational forces, the source is better described by a post-Newtonian formalism. After recalling the post-Newtonian expansion in general relativity and how to obtain the lowest-order correction to the Newtonian equations of motion, GW generation by post-Newtonian sources is described, and the application to sources with strong gravitational fields, such as neutron stars and black holes, is then presented. The results of this chapter have an intrinsic conceptual interest, since the full non-linear structure of general relativity at work can be seen here. Furthermore, this formalism is of paramount importance in the computation of the waveform from an inspiraling binary system, and its extraction from the data of interferometric GW detectors.

Keywords:   flat space-time, binary tar, post-Newtonian formalism, self-gravitating sources, inspiraling binaries, strong-field sources, relaxed Einstein equations, neutron stars, black holes

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