Nonlinear Gravitational Waves: Their Form and Effects
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A gravitational wave must be nonlinear to be able to transport its own source, that is, energy and momentum. A physical gravitational wave, therefore, cannot be represented by a solution to a linear wave equation. Relying on this property, the second-order solution describing such physical waves is obtained. The effects they produce on free particles are found to consist of nonlinear oscillations along the direction of propagation.