### Abstract

Observed angular positions and redshifts of large-scale structure tracers such as galaxies are affected by gravitational waves through volume distortion and magnification effects. Thus, a gravitational wave background can in principle be probed through clustering statistics of large-scale structures. We calculate the observed angular clustering of galaxies in the presence of a gravitational wave background at linear order including all relativistic effects. For a scale-invariant spectrum of gravitational waves, the effects are most significant at the smallest multipoles (2≤≤5), but typically suppressed by six or more orders of magnitude with respect to scalar contributions for currently allowed amplitudes of the inflationary gravitational wave background. We also discuss the most relevant second-order terms, corresponding to the distortion of tracer correlation functions by gravitational waves. These provide a natural application of the approach recently developed in Schmidt and Jeong {arXiv:1204.3625 [Phys. Rev. D (to be published)]}.

Original language | English (US) |
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Article number | 083512 |

Journal | Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology |

Volume | 86 |

Issue number | 8 |

DOIs | |

State | Published - Oct 8 2012 |

### All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

- Nuclear and High Energy Physics
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)