Gravitational wave stochastic background in reduced Horndeski theories

João C. Lobato, Isabela S. Matos, Maurício O. Calvão, Ioav Waga

Submitted on 2 November 2022


We generalize to reduced Horndeski theories of gravity, where gravitational waves (GWs) travel at the speed of light, the expression of a statistically homogeneous and unpolarized stochastic gravitational wave background (SGWB) signal measured as the correlation between the individual signals detected by two interferometers in arbitrary configurations. We also discuss some results found in the literature regarding cosmological distances in modified theories, namely, the simultaneous validity of a duality distance relation for GW signals and of the coincidence between the gravitational wave luminosity distance, based on the energy flux, and the distance inferred from the wave amplitude. This discussion allows us to conclude that the spectral energy density per unit solid angle of an astrophysical SGWB signal has the same functional dependency with the luminosity of each emitting source as in General Relativity (GR). Using the generalized expression of the GW energy-momentum tensor and the modified propagation law for the tensor modes, we conclude that the energy density of a SGWB maintains the same functional relation with the scale factor as in GR, provided that the modified theory coincides with GR in a given hypersurface of constant time. However, the relation between the detected signal and the spectral energy density is changed by the global factor G4(φ(t0)), thus potentially serving as a probe for modified gravity theories.


Comment: 10 pages

Subjects: General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology; Astrophysics - Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics