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Tidal Deformations of Compact Bodies in General Relativity

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Title: Tidal Deformations of Compact Bodies in General Relativity
Author: Landry, Philippe
Department: Department of Physics
Program: Physics
Advisor: Poisson, Eric
Abstract: In Newtonian gravity, the tidal deformability of an astronomical body is measured by its tidal Love numbers, dimensionless coupling constants which depend on the body's composition. The gravitational Love numbers characterize the body's response to the tidal field through the change in its gravitational potential; the surficial Love numbers do likewise through the deformation of its surface. The gravitational Love numbers were promoted to a relativistic setting by Damour and Nagar, and Binnington and Poisson. We present an improved computational procedure for calculating them, and place bounds on the gravitational Love numbers of perfect fluid bodies. We also provide a covariant definition of relativistic surficial Love numbers, develop a unified theory of surface deformations for material bodies and black holes, and derive a simple relation between the gravitational and surficial Love numbers in general relativity. Additionally, we formulate a theory of Newtonian tides in higher dimensions.
Date: 2014-07

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