Authors: Adrian Melissinos, Ashok Das
Date: 3 Feb 2010
Abstract: Laser interferometer detectors are now widely used in an attempt to detect gravitational waves (gw). The interaction of the gw with the light circulating in the interferometer is usually explained in terms of the motion of the "free" mirrors that form the interferometer arms. It is however instructive to show that the same result can be obtained by simply calculating the propagation of an electromagnetic plane wave between "free mirrors" in the curved space-time induced by the gw. One finds that the plane wave acquires frequency modulation sidebands at the gw frequency, as would be expected from the absorption and emission of gravitons from and to the gw. Such sidebands are completely equivalent to the time-dependent phase shift imposed on the plane wave, that follows from the conventional calculation.
© M. Vallisneri 2012 — last modified on 2010/01/29
Tantum in modicis, quantum in maximis