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In this paper we examine the geodesic deviation equation using the Newman-Penrose (N-P) formalism for a flat Friedmann-Lemaitre-Robertson-Walker (FLRW) metric (Carroll, S. (2004); Ryden, B. (2003); Newman & Penrose (1962)). We solved the geodesic deviation equation for angular diameter distance, using the relevant N-P components, and the resulting expression was the Dyer-Roeder equation of cosmology (Ryden, B. (2003)) (Schneider et al. (1992)). This leads us to believe that we can apply the N-P formalism to a perturbed FLRW metric and find a solvable equation for angular diameter distance (Kling & Campbell (2008)). The perturbed FLRW metric incorporates clumps of matter into a metric that is on average homogeneous and isotropic. Deriving a solvable equation for angular diameter distance, in a perturbed FLRW metric, could prove useful to astronomers. By including clumps of matter along the line-of-sight into the math, we can calculate distances to light emitting objects that are obstructed by weak gravitational fields. This thesis should serve as a test of both our tetrad and our methodology, by showing that they work in the flat unperturbed metric.



Thesis Comittee

Thomas Kling (Thesis Director)

Martina Arndt

Matthew Salomone

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Original document was submitted as an Honors Program requirement. Copyright is held by the author.

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