Nonlinear interaction and propagation of gravitational and electromagnetic waves in plasmas

Sammanfattning: Gravitational waves and electromagnetic waves are important as carriers of energy and information. This thesis is devoted to the study of the propagation and interaction of these waves in plasmas, with emphasis on nonlinear effects and applications within astrophysics.The physical systems are described by the Einstein-Maxwell-fluid equations or Einstein-Maxwell-Vlasov equations, when a kinetic treatment is required. The small amplitude and high-frequency approximation is employed for the gravitational waves, such that perturbative techniques can be applied and space-time can be considered locally flat, with a gravitational radiation field superimposed on it. The gravitational waves give rise to coupling terms that have the structure of effective currents in the Maxwell equations and an effective gravitational force in the equation of motion for the plasma. The Einstein field equations describe the evolution of the gravitational waves, with the perturbed energy-momentum density of the plasma and the electromagnetic field as a source.The processes that are investigated are gravitational waves exciting electromagnetic waves in plasmas, altering the optical properties of plasmas and accelerating charged particles. The thesis also deals with the propagation propertities of gravitational and electromagnetic waves, e.g. effects due to resonant wave-particle interactions, plasma inhomogeneties and nonlinear self-interactions. It is also shown that plasmas that are not in thermodynamical equilibrium may release their free energy by emitting gravitational waves.

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