[0909.0622] The stochastic gravitational wave background from turbulence and magnetic fields generated by a first-order phase transition

Authors: Chiara Caprini, Ruth Durrer, Geraldine Servant

Date: 3 Sep 2009

Abstract: We analytically derive the spectrum of gravitational waves due to magneto-hydrodynamical turbulence generated by bubble collisions in a first-order phase transition. In contrast to previous studies, we take into account the fact that turbulence and magnetic fields act as sources of gravitational waves for many Hubble times after the phase transition is completed. This modifies the gravitational wave spectrum at large scales. We also model the initial stirring phase preceding the Kolmogorov cascade, while earlier works assume that the Kolmogorov spectrum is set in instantaneously. The continuity in time of the source is relevant for a correct determination of the peak position of the gravitational wave spectrum. We discuss how the results depend on assumptions about the unequal-time correlation of the source and motivate a realistic choice for it. Our treatment gives a similar peak frequency to previous analyses but the amplitude of the signal is reduced due to the use of a more realistic power spectrum for the MHD turbulence. For a strongly first-order electroweak phase transition, the signal is observable by LISA.

abs pdf

Sep 09, 2009

0909.0622 (/preprints)
2009-09-09, 03:24 [edit]


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