Cherenkov radiation may occur whenever the source is moving faster than the waves it generates. In a radiation dominated universe, with equation-of-state w = 1/3, we have recently shown that the Bardeen scalar-metric perturbations contribute to the linearized Weyl tensor in such a manner that its wavefront propagates at acoustic speed√ w = 1/√ 3. In this work, we explicitly compute the shape of the Bardeen Cherenkov cone and wedge generated respectively by a supersonic point mass (approximating a primordial black hole) and a straight Nambu-Goto wire (approximating a cosmic string) moving perpendicular to its length. When the black hole or cosmic string is moving at ultra-relativistic speeds, we also calculate explicitly the sudden surge of scalar-metric induced tidal forces on a pair of test particles due to the passing Cherenkov shock wave. These forces can stretch or compress, depending on the orientation of the masses relative to the shock front’s normal.
- Cherenkov radiation
- Gravitational waves