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Home > About us > Media > Archived news > 2021 > Gravitational wave turbulence

Gravitational wave turbulence

Turbulence is a universal phenomenon observed from the quantum scale to the astrophysical scale. At LPP, turbulence is a transverse research axis concerning laboratory plasmas (tokamaks) and space plasmas (solar wind, planetary magnetospheres).

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Fluctuations of two components of the space-time metric.

Today, direct numerical simulations reveal that it is possible to produce turbulence in general relativity. Using tools borrowed from plasma physics, the authors have highlighted classical properties of wave turbulence (here gravitational waves) with a direct cascade of energy and an inverse cascade of wave action. This study demonstrates that in the extreme conditions that we could experience in the very primordial Universe - the first second - space-time can, like a plasma, present erratic fluctuations with transfers from scale to scale. This discovery about a sea of gravitational waves provides fundamental information that could lead to a better understanding of the post-Big Bang Universe and its tremendous - and still mysterious - expansion called cosmological inflation.

Contact at LPP : Sébastien Galtier

INSIS news: Mieux comprendre l’expansion de l’Univers grâce à la turbulence des ondes gravitationnelles

View online : Galtier & Nazarenko, Phys. Rev. Lett. 127, 131101 (2021) – Editors’ suggestion

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