Gravitational Mass Carried by Sound Waves

Esposito, Angelo (Department of Physics, Center for Theoretical Physics, Columbia University, 538W 120th Street, New York, New York, 10027, USA) (INFN, Sezione di Roma, Piazzale A. Moro 2, I-00185 Rome, Italy) (Theoretical Particle Physics Laboratory, Institute of Physics, EPFL, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland) ; Krichevsky, Rafael (Department of Physics, Center for Theoretical Physics, Columbia University, 538W 120th Street, New York, New York, 10027, USA) ; Nicolis, Alberto (Department of Physics, Center for Theoretical Physics, Columbia University, 538W 120th Street, New York, New York, 10027, USA)

01 March 2019

Abstract: We show that the commonly accepted statement that sound waves do not transport mass is only true at linear order. Using effective field theory techniques, we confirm the result found by Nicolis and Penco [Phys. Rev. B 97, 134516 (2018)] for zero-temperature superfluids, and extend it to the case of solids and ordinary fluids. We show that, in fact, sound waves do carry mass—in particular, gravitational mass. This implies that a sound wave not only is affected by gravity but also generates a tiny gravitational field, an aspect not appreciated thus far. Our findings are valid for nonrelativistic media as well, and could have intriguing experimental implications.


Published in: Physical Review Letters 122 (2019)
Published by: APS
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.122.084501
arXiv: 1807.08771
License: CC-BY-4.0



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