Expanding universe with nonlinear gravitational waves

Taishi Ikeda, Chul Moon Yoo, Yasusada Nambu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


We test the validity of Isaacson's formula which states that high frequency and low amplitude gravitational waves behave as a radiation fluid on average. For this purpose, we numerically construct a solution of the vacuum Einstein equations which contains nonlinear standing gravitational waves. The solution is constructed in a cubic box with periodic boundary conditions. The time evolution is solved in a gauge in which the trace of the extrinsic curvature K of the time slice becomes spatially uniform. Then, the Hubble expansion rate H is defined by H=-K/3 and compared with the effective scale factor L defined by the proper volume, area and length of the cubic box. We find that, even when the wave length of the gravitational waves is comparable to the Hubble scale, the deviation from Isaacson's formula H-L-2 is at most 3% without taking a temporal average and is below 0.1% with a temporal average.

Original languageEnglish
Article number044041
JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 21 2015
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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