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Gravitational waves from a string cusp in Einstein-aether theory Lalancette, Marc


The motivation of this thesis is to look for a signature of Lorentz violation, hopefully observable, in the gravitational waves emitted by cosmic strings. Aspects of cosmic strings are reviewed, in particular how focused bursts of gravitational radiation are emitted when a cusp forms on the string. The same phenomenon is then studied in an effective field theory with Lorentz violation called Einstein-aether theory. This is a simple theory with a dynamic preferred frame, but it retains rotational and diffeomorphism invariance. The linearized version of the theory produces five wave modes. We study the usual transverse traceless modes which now have a wave speed that can be lower or greater than the speed of light. This altered speed produces distinctive features in the waves. They depend on two free parameters: roughly the wave speed and the acceleration of the string cusp. The profile of the wave is analyzed in detail for different values of the parameters and explained by close comparison with the string motion.

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