**Authors**: Liang Dai, Marc Kamionkowski, Donghui Jeong

**Date**: 4 Sep 2012

**Abstract**: Most calculations in cosmological perturbation theorydecompose those perturbations into plane waves (Fourier modes). However, for some calculations, particularly those involving observations performed on a spherical sky, a decomposition into waves of fixed total angular momentum (TAM) may be more appropriate. Here we introduce TAM waves, solutions of fixed total angular momentum to the Helmholtz equation, for three-dimensional scalar, vector, and tensor fields. The vector TAM waves of given total angular momentum can be decomposed further into a set of three basis functions of fixed orbital angular momentum (OAM), a set of fixed helicity, or a basis consisting of a longitudinal (L) and two transverse (E and B) TAM waves. The symmetric traceless rank-2 tensor TAM waves can be similarly decomposed into a basis of fixed OAM or fixed helicity, or a basis that consists of a longitudinal (L), two vector (VE and VB, of opposite parity), and two tensor (TE and TB, of opposite parity) waves. We show how all of the vector and tensor TAM waves can be obtained by applying derivative operators to scalar TAM waves. This operator approach then allows one to decompose a vector field into three covariant scalar fields for the L, E, and B components and symmetric-traceless-tensor fields into five covariant scalar fields for the L, VE, VB, TE, and TB components. We provide projections of the vector and tensor TAM waves onto vector and tensor spherical harmonics. We provide calculational detail to facilitate the assimilation of this formalism into cosmological calculations. As an example, we calculate the power spectra of the deflection angle for gravitational lensing by density perturbations and by gravitational waves. We comment on an alternative approach to CMB fluctuations based on TAM waves. Our work may have applications elsewhere in field theory and in general relativity.

1209.0761
(/preprints)

2012-09-21, 10:53
**[edit]**

© M. Vallisneri 2012 — last modified on 2010/01/29

*Tantum in modicis, quantum in maximis*