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Relic Gravitational Waves

Relic gravitational waves are believed to be produced in the very early universe,
possibly already during inflation, the subsequent reheating phase when matter was produced,
and also during the radiation-dominated era at cosmological phase transitions.
Examples of those are the electroweak and the QCD phase transitions.

The figure above shows GW energy spectra (normalized by the critical
energy density of the Universe) of recent numerical simulations of GW
generation during low-energy scale reheating scenarios done at Nordita.
Depending on the energy scale, the GW energy spectra are expected to
peak at nano-Hertz frequencies (for QCD energy scale reheating) up to
milli-Hertz (for energy scales on the order of nearly a million GeV).

Brandenburg, A., He, Y., & Sharma, R.: 2021, ``Simulations of helical inflationary magnetogenesis and gravitational waves,'' *Astrophys. J. ***922**, 192
(arXiv:2107.12333, ADS, DOI, HTML)

Milli-Hertz GWs will be accessible to various planned space
interferometers, while nano-Hertz GWs may already have been observed with
the North Americal Pulsar Timing Array for Gravitational waves, NANOGrav.
In the future, the Square Kilometer Array may measure many more pulsars.
Even high accuracy astrometry may be used to detect the stochastic
GW background.

Axel Brandenburg

$Date: 2022/01/25 19:44:11 $, $Author: brandenb $, $Revision: 1.4 $