A Caltech Library Service

Gravitational radiation from first-order phase transitions

Kamionkowski, Marc and Kosowsky, Arthur and Turner, Michael S. (1994) Gravitational radiation from first-order phase transitions. Physical Review D, 49 (6). pp. 2837-2851. ISSN 2470-0010. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.49.2837.

PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


We consider the stochastic background of gravity waves produced by first-order cosmological phase transitions from two types of sources: colliding bubbles and hydrodynamic turbulence. First we discuss the fluid mechanics of relativistic spherical combustion. We then numerically collide many bubbles expanding at a velocity v and calculate the resulting spectrum of gravitational radiation in the linearized gravity approximation. Our results are expressed as simple functions of the mean bubble separation, the bubble expansion velocity, the latent heat, and the efficiency of converting latent heat to kinetic energy of the bubble walls. A first-order phase transition is also likely to excite a Kolmogoroff spectrum of turbulence. We estimate the gravity waves produced by such a spectrum of turbulence and find that the characteristic amplitude of the gravity waves produced is comparable to that from bubble collisions. Finally, we apply these results to the electroweak transition. Using the one-loop effective potential for the minimal electroweak model, the characteristic amplitude of the gravity waves produced is h≃1.5×10^-27 at a characteristic frequency of 4.1 × 10^-3 Hz corresponding to Ω∼10^-22 in gravity waves, far too small for detection. Gravity waves from more strongly first-order phase transitions, including the electroweak transition in nonminimal models, have better prospects for detection, though probably not by LIGO.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Kamionkowski, Marc0000-0001-7018-2055
Additional Information:©1 994 The American Physical Society Received 26 October 1993 We thank David DeYoung for several helpful discussions about turbulence. M.K. has been supported in part by the Texas National Research Laboratory Commission and by the DOE through Grant No. DE-FG02-90ER40542. A.K. and M.S.T. are supported by the DOE (at Chicago and Fermilab) and by NASA through Grant No. NAGW 2831 (at Fermilab). A.K. was supported in part by the NASA Graduate Student Researchers Program.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Texas National Research Laboratory CommissionUNSPECIFIED
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-FG02-90ER40542
NASA Graduate Student Research FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:6
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:KAMprd94b
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:3469
Deposited By: Archive Administrator
Deposited On:08 Jun 2006
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 19:56

Repository Staff Only: item control page