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 Localizing the Angular Momentum of Linear Gravity


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In a previous article Phys. Rev. D 82 104040 2010, we derived an energy-momentum tensor for linear gravity that exhibited positive energy density and causal energy flux. Here we extend this framework by localizing the angular momentum of the linearized gravitational field, deriving a gravitational spin tensor which possesses similarly desirable properties. By examining the local exchange of angular momentum between matter and gravity we find that gravitational intrinsic spin is localized, separately from orbital angular momentum, in terms of a gravitational spin tensor. This spin tensor is then uniquely determined by requiring that it obey two simple physically motivated algebraic conditions. Firstly, the spin of an arbitrary harmonic-gauge gravitational plane wave is required to flow in the direction of propagation of the wave. Secondly, the spin tensor of any transverse-traceless gravitational field is required to be traceless. The second condition ensures that local field redefinitions suffice to cast our gravitational energy-momentum tensor and spin tensor as sources of gravity in a quadratic approximation to general relativity. Additionally, the following properties arise in the spin tensor spontaneously: all transverse-traceless fields have purely spatial spin, and any field generated by a static distribution of matter will carry no spin at all. Following the structure of our previous paper, we then examine the spatial angular momentum exchanged between the gravitational field and an infinitesimal detector, and develop a microaveraging procedure that renders the process gauge-invariant. The exchange of nonspatial angular momentum i.e., moment of energy is also analyzed, leading us to conclude that a gravitational wave can displace the center of mass of the detector; this conclusion is also confirmed by a first principles treatment of the system. Finally, we discuss

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Author: Luke M. Butcher; Anthony Lasenby; Michael Hobson

Source: https://archive.org/







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