Gravitational waves and the Sagnac effect

Abstract : Light rays propagating in opposite directions around the same loop in general show a relative phase shift when recombined. This phenomenon is known as the Sagnac effect after Georges Sagnac who, in 1913, demonstrated with an interferometer on a rotating table that the phase shift depended on the angular velocity of the table. Here we interpret the phase shift as a difference in travel time of the light (photons) and exhibit a very general formula for it, valid in full general relativity. The effect not only contains the `classical' contribution from the rotation of the laboratory but also contributions due to the lab's acceleration and due to incoming gravitational waves. The Sagnac effect is used in numerous technological applications but most notably in optical gyroscopes to detect rotations. The new effect may be used to also detect linear accelerations, but it may also have implications for third generation gravitational wave detectors.
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Contributeur : Inspire Hep <>
Soumis le : mardi 11 septembre 2018 - 09:10:14
Dernière modification le : mardi 12 février 2019 - 21:06:09

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Jörg Frauendiener. Gravitational waves and the Sagnac effect. 2018. 〈hal-01871562〉



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