chapter  15
12 Pages

Gyroscopes and gravitational waves

The behaviour of a gyroscope in geodesic motion is studied in the field of a plane gravitational wave. We find that, with respect to a special set of frames, the compass of inertia undergoes a precession which, to first order in the dimensionless amplitude h of the wave, is dominated by the cross-polarization alone. This suggests that a gyro might act as a filter of the polarization state of the wave.