Analogue models of (and for) gravity have a long and distinguished history dating back to the earliest years of general relativity. In this review article we will discuss the history, aims, results, and future prospects for the various analogue models. We start the discussion by presenting a particularly simple example of an analogue model, before exploring the rich history and complex tapestry of models discussed in the literature. The last decade in particular has seen a remarkable and sustained development of analogue gravity ideas, leading to some hundreds of published articles, a workshop, two books, and this review article. Future prospects for the analogue gravity programme also look promising, both on the experimental front (where technology is rapidly advancing) and on the theoretical front (where variants of analogue models can be used as a springboard for radical attacks on the problem of quantum gravity).
Archive for 2005
by: Martin Bojowald
Quantum gravity is expected to be necessary in order to understand situations where classical general relativity breaks down. In particular in cosmology one has to deal with initial singularities, i.e., the fact that the backward evolution of a classical space-time inevitably comes to an end after a finite amount of proper time. This presents a breakdown of the classical picture and requires an extended theory for a meaningful description. Since small length scales and high curvatures are involved, quantum effects must play a role. Not only the singularity itself but also the surrounding space-time is then modified. One particular realization is loop quantum cosmology, an application of loop quantum gravity to homogeneous systems, which removes classical singularities. Its implications can be studied at different levels. Main effects are introduced into effective classical equations which allow to avoid interpretational problems of quantum theory. They give rise to new kinds of early universe phenomenology with applications to inflation and cyclic models. To resolve classical singularities and to understand the structure of geometry around them, the quantum description is necessary. Classical evolution is then replaced by a difference equation for a wave function which allows to extend space-time beyond classical singularities. One main question is how these homogeneous scenarios are related to full loop quantum gravity, which can be dealt with at the level of distributional symmetric states. Finally, the new structure of space-time arising in loop quantum gravity and its application to cosmology sheds new light on more general issues such as time.
by: Jeffrey Winicour
I review the development of numerical evolution codes for general relativity based upon the characteristic initial value problem. Progress is traced from the early stage of 1D feasibility studies to 2D axisymmetric codes that accurately simulate the oscillations and gravitational collapse of relativistic stars and to current 3D codes that provide pieces of a binary black hole spacetime. A prime application of characteristic evolution is to compute waveforms via Cauchy-characteristic matching, which is also reviewed.
by: Jan Plefka
In this introductory review we discuss dynamical tests of the AdS_5 × S^5 string/N = 4 Super Yang-Mills duality. After a brief introduction to AdS/CFT, we argue that semiclassical string energies yield information on the quantum spectrum of the string in the limit of large angular momenta on the S^5. The energies of the folded and circular spinning string solutions rotating on a S^3 within the S^5 are derived, which yield all-loop predictions for the dual gauge theory scaling dimensions. These follow from the eigenvalues of the dilatation operator of N = 4 Super Yang-Mills in a minimal SU(2) subsector, and we display its reformulation in terms of a Heisenberg s = 1/2 spin chain along with the coordinate Bethe ansatz for its explicit diagonalization. In order to make contact to the spinning string energies, we then study the thermodynamic limit of the one-loop gauge theory Bethe equations and demonstrate the matching with the folded and closed string result at this loop order. Finally, the known gauge theory results at higher-loop orders are reviewed and the associated long-range spin chain Bethe ansatz is introduced, leading to an asymptotic all-loop conjecture for the gauge theory Bethe equations. This uncovers discrepancies at the three-loop order between gauge theory scaling dimensions and string theory energies, and the implications of this are discussed. Along the way, we comment on further developments and generalizations of the subject and point to the relevant literature.
Coalescence of binary supermassive black holes (SBHs) would constitute the strongest sources of gravitational waves to be observed by LISA. While the formation of binary SBHs during galaxy mergers is almost inevitable, coalescence requires that the separation between binary components first drop by a few orders of magnitude, due presumably to interaction of the binary with stars and gas in a galactic nucleus. This article reviews the observational evidence for binary SBHs and discusses how they would evolve. No completely convincing case of a bound, binary SBH has yet been found, although a handful of systems (e.g. interacting galaxies; remnants of galaxy mergers) are now believed to contain two SBHs at projected separations of <~ 1kpc. N-body studies of binary evolution in gas-free galaxies have reached large enough particle numbers to reproduce the slow, “diffusive” refilling of the binary’s loss cone that is believed to characterize binary evolution in real galactic nuclei. While some of the results of these simulations – e.g. the binary hardening rate and eccentricity evolution – are strongly N-dependent, others – e.g. the “damage” inflicted by the binary on the nucleus – are not. Luminous early-type galaxies often exhibit depleted cores with masses of ~ 1-2 times the mass of their nuclear SBHs, consistent with the predictions of the binary model. Studies of the interaction of massive binaries with gas are still in their infancy, although much progress is expected in the near future. Binary coalescence has a large influence on the spins of SBHs, even for mass ratios as extreme as 10:1, and evidence of spin-flips may have been observed.
We review the main properties, demographics and applications of binary and millisecond radio pulsars. Our knowledge of these exciting objects has greatly increased in recent years, mainly due to successful surveys which have brought the known pulsar population to over 1700. There are now 80 binary and millisecond pulsars associated with the disk of our Galaxy, and a further 103 pulsars in 24 of the Galactic globular clusters. Recent highlights have been the discovery of the first ever double pulsar system and a recent flurry of discoveries in globular clusters, in particular Terzan 5.
by: Alan D. Rendall
This article is a guide to theorems on existence and global dynamics of solutions of the Einstein equations. It draws attention to open questions in the field. The local-in-time Cauchy problem, which is relatively well understood, is surveyed. Global results for solutions with various types of symmetry are discussed. A selection of results from Newtonian theory and special relativity that offer useful comparisons is presented. Treatments of global results in the case of small data and results on constructing spacetimes with prescribed singularity structure or late-time asymptotics are given. A conjectural picture of the asymptotic behaviour of general cosmological solutions of the Einstein equations is built up. Some miscellaneous topics connected with the main theme are collected in a separate section.
by: David Mattingly
Motivated by ideas about quantum gravity, a tremendous amount of effort over the past decade has gone into testing Lorentz invariance in various regimes. This review summarizes both the theoretical frameworks for tests of Lorentz invariance and experimental advances that have made new high precision tests possible. The current constraints on Lorentz violating effects from both terrestrial experiments and astrophysical observations are presented.
Equal-arm interferometric detectors of gravitational radiation allow phase measurements many orders of magnitude below the intrinsic phase stability of the laser injecting light into their arms. This is because the noise in the laser light is common to both arms, experiencing exactly the same delay, and thus cancels when it is differenced at the photo detector. In this situation, much lower level secondary noises then set the overall performance. If, however, the two arms have different lengths (as will necessarily be the case with space-borne interferometers), the laser noise experiences different delays in the two arms and will hence not directly cancel at the detector. In order to solve this problem, a technique involving heterodyne interferometry with unequal arm lengths and independent phase-difference readouts has been proposed. It relies on properly time-shifting and linearly combining independent Doppler measurements, and for this reason it has been called Time-Delay Interferometry (TDI). This article provides an overview of the theory and mathematical foundations of TDI as it will be implemented by the forthcoming space-based interferometers such as the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) mission. We have purposely left out from this first version of our “Living Review” article on TDI all the results of more practical and experimental nature, as well as all the aspects of TDI that the data analysts will need to account for when analyzing the LISA TDI data combinations. Our forthcoming “second edition” of this review paper will include these topics.
The article reviews the statistical theory of signal detection in application to analysis of deterministic gravitational-wave signals in the noise of a detector. Statistical foundations for the theory of signal detection and parameter estimation are presented. Several tools needed for both theoretical evaluation of the optimal data analysis methods and for their practical implementation are introduced. They include optimal signal-to-noise ratio, Fisher matrix, false alarm and detection probabilities, F-statistic, template placement, and fitting factor. These tools apply to the case of signals buried in a stationary and Gaussian noise. Algorithms to efficiently implement the optimal data analysis techniques are discussed. Formulas are given for a general gravitational-wave signal that includes as special cases most of the deterministic signals of interest.