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Nonconservative Unimodular Gravity: Gravitational Waves

Unimodular gravity is characterized by an extra condition with respect to general relativity, i.e., the determinant of the metric is constant. This extra condition leads to a more restricted class of invariance by coordinate transformation: The symmetry properties of unimodular gravity are governed by the transverse diffeomorphisms. Nevertheless, if the conservation of the energy–momentum tensor is imposed in unimodular gravity, the general relativity theory is recovered with an additional integration constant which is associated to the cosmological term Λ. However, if the energy–momentum tensor is not conserved separately, a new geometric structure appears with potentially observational signatures. In this text, we consider the evolution of gravitational waves in a nonconservative unimodular gravity, showing how it differs from the usual signatures in the standard model. As our main result, we verify that gravitational waves in the nonconservative version of unimodular gravity are strongly amplified during the evolution of the universe.