Motion of photons in a gravitational wave background

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Zhe Chang, Chao-Guang Huang and Zhi-Chao Zhao. Motion of photons in a gravitational wave background[J]. Chinese Physics C, 2017, 41(9): 093108. doi: 10.1088/1674-1137/41/9/093108
Zhe Chang, Chao-Guang Huang and Zhi-Chao Zhao. Motion of photons in a gravitational wave background[J]. Chinese Physics C, 2017, 41(9): 093108.  doi: 10.1088/1674-1137/41/9/093108 shu
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Received: 2017-06-12
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    Supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (11275207, 11375203, 11690022, 11675182) and Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences Multi-waveband Gravitational Wave Universe (XDB23040000)

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Motion of photons in a gravitational wave background

    Corresponding author: Zhe Chang,
    Corresponding author: Chao-Guang Huang,
    Corresponding author: Zhi-Chao Zhao,
  • 1. Institute of High Energy Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • 2. School of Physics, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
Fund Project:  Supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (11275207, 11375203, 11690022, 11675182) and Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences Multi-waveband Gravitational Wave Universe (XDB23040000)

Abstract: Photon motion in a Michelson interferometer is re-analyzed in terms of both geometrical optics and wave optics. The classical paths of the photons in the background of a gravitational wave are derived from the Fermat principle, which is the same as the null geodesics in general relativity. The deformed Maxwell equations and the wave equations of electric fields in the background of a gravitational wave are presented in a flat-space approximation. Both methods show that even the envelope of the response of an interferometer depends on the frequency of a gravitational wave, but it is almost independent of the frequency of the mirror's vibrations.

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