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71
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5answers
5k views

What was the major discovery on gravitational waves made March 17th, 2014, in the BICEP2 experiment?

The Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics held a press conference today to announce a major discovery relating to gravitational waves. What was their announcement, and what are the implications? ...
20
votes
2answers
933 views

Are gravitational waves longitudinal or transverse?

Waves are generally classified as either transverse or longitudinal depending on the they way the propagated quantity is oriented with respect to the direction of propagation. Then what is a ...
11
votes
4answers
813 views

Why is there a search for an exchange particle for gravity?

If I understand correctly, according to Einstein's General Theory of Relativity, mass results in a distortion in space-time. In turn, the motion of the mass is affected by the distortion. A result of ...
9
votes
2answers
520 views

Why gravity is a spin-2 field? How can I read the spin from Einstein-Hilbert action?

I have often heard that the gravitational field has spin $2$. How can I read the spin of the field from the Einstein-Hilbert action $$S=\int \! \mathrm{d}^4x \,\sqrt{|g|} \, \mathcal{R} \, \, \, ?$$
9
votes
3answers
486 views

Since there are gravitational lenses, are there gravitational mirrors?

Gravitational lensing is an observed phenomenon. Can one have a gravitational mirror? A slightly unrelated question: Can gravitational waves be reflected?
9
votes
1answer
47 views

LIGO sensitivity in terms of minimum received power per area

I've been looking at LIGO figures for gravitational wave sensitivity here and it seem to be displayed in an adimensional strain ratio (which I assume that is more or less equivalent to metric ...
8
votes
2answers
524 views

Do gravitational waves slow down as they pass through matter?

I've heard that gravitational waves travel at the speed of light, and have some parallels to electromagnetic waves. EM waves slow down as they pass through matter (speed of light in glass is slower ...
8
votes
2answers
225 views

Do two photons traveling in opposite directions emit gravitational waves?

Do two photons traveling in opposite directions emit gravitational waves? If so, does it mean that any volume filled with photon gas will eventually degrade into graviton gas? In other words, if flat ...
8
votes
1answer
118 views

In the B mode power spectrum, what is the relationship between the multipole number and the wavelength of the seed gravitational waves?

One of the key datasets of the recent BICEP2 results is the B mode power spectrum shown below. The existence of these B modes implies the existence of gravitational waves prior to inflation. My ...
7
votes
2answers
232 views

Do photons and cosmic rays radiate energy through gravitational waves? If not, why not?

Due to the mass-energy equivalence, both matter and EM radiation bend spacetime, and both are capable of forming singularities (black hole, white hole/kugelblitz). In light of this, why do photons ...
7
votes
1answer
218 views

The BICEP2 data are evidence of gravitational waves and of inflation. Are they also the first observation that requires quantum gravity?

It strikes me that the recent announcement of data from BICEP2 contains two really Big Deals: the first evidence of gravitational waves the first evidence of inflation. Is there also a third? ...
7
votes
2answers
640 views

Can colliding gravitational waves create a black hole?

Whether gravitational waves are real or just a coordinate freedom was argued in the early days of GR. Eventually the conclusion was that they were real. And if they are 'real' then I'm curious if... ...
7
votes
1answer
252 views

Does a pendulum necessarily emit gravitational waves?

A question about the behaviour of a pendulum in a frictionless vacuum recently made it back to the front page, and a few comments below John Rennie's excellent answer set me thinking about one ...
7
votes
3answers
265 views

Do gravitational waves cause time dilatation?

The effect of gravitational waves in transverse traceless gauge on matter is represented by the expansion and contraction of a ring of test particles in the direction of polarization of the wave. ...
7
votes
1answer
544 views

warp drive with gravitational waves in the nonlinear regime

gravitational waves are strictly transversal (in the linear regime at least), also their amplitudes are tiny even for cosmic scale events like supernovas or binary black holes (at least far away, ...
6
votes
1answer
185 views

What makes us think we can actually detect gravitational waves?

This refers to the discussion about gravitational waves for the YouTube video LIGO Gravitational Wave Observatory. I have two questions: When the gravitational wave passes through the space where ...
6
votes
0answers
173 views

Would warp bubbles emit gravitational Cerenkov radiation in general relativity?

Inspired by the gravtiomagnetic analogy, I would expect that just as a charged tachyon would emit normal (electromagetic) Cerenkov radiation, any mass-carrying warp drive would emit gravitational ...
5
votes
2answers
237 views

gravitational waves and inflation theory

I am not a technical guy and I have no scientific knowloedge in physics but I have been reading books, watching videos in order to understand our cosmology and ...
5
votes
2answers
304 views

Would it be possible to transmit information through gravitational waves?

First thing I've been wondering is how the gravitational field is emitted. Matter emits gravitational waves, and I guess that those waves travel at around the speed of light. If that's not the case, ...
5
votes
2answers
628 views

Planck satellite 2013 results impact on cosmological models

I've recently watched a "Through the Wormhole" episode from 2010 named "What Happened Before the Beginning?", where cyclic and ekpyrotic cosmological models are explained. In this episode the creators ...
5
votes
1answer
274 views

What is the status of existing measurements of the speed of gravity?

In replying to a recent question I stated: Gravitational waves have not been yet experimentally observed so as to have their velocity measured. Which after the fact prompted me to try and verify ...
5
votes
1answer
248 views

What do the BICEP2 results mean for string gas cosmology and the ekpyrotic universe?

The imprint of gravitational waves created shortly after the big bang may offer direct evidence for inflation theory, according to a discovery by the BICEP2 experiment at the South Pole and released ...
5
votes
0answers
135 views

What is the status of gravitational wave searches? [closed]

What is the status of gravitational wave searches such as LIGO?
4
votes
3answers
442 views

Do rotating bodies emit gravitational waves?

Suppose we have a cylinder of mass $m$, radius $R$ and height $h$ in rotation with speed $\omega$ around its symmetry axis with no friction (ideal situation). I'd expect this cylinder to emit ...
4
votes
1answer
68 views

Are gravitational waves transverse or longitudinal waves, or do they have unique/unknown properties? [duplicate]

Gravitational waves propagate through a medium of space-time. Are they traverse waves or longitudinal waves? Or do they propagate without oscillating?
4
votes
1answer
106 views

Field action of linearized gravity associated with spin-2 particle in Thorne book

In MTW book there is one exercise in which there was proposed to discuss linearized tensor gravity, which is represented as $$ g_{\mu \nu} = \eta_{\mu \nu} + h_{\mu \nu}, \quad \eta_{\mu \nu} = ...
4
votes
1answer
227 views

Boundary conditions of relativistic wave solutions?

If you take Einstein's field equations, \begin{equation} R_{\mu\nu}-\tfrac{1}{2}g_{\mu\nu}R = -\kappa T_{\mu\nu}, \end{equation} and you insert the metric \begin{equation} g_{\mu\nu} = \eta_{\mu\nu} ...
4
votes
2answers
136 views

Will cosmological gravitational waves be weaker or stronger than astrophysical ones?

Will gravitational waves of cosmological origin be weaker or stronger (higher amplitude $h \simeq\Delta L/L$) than those created from astrophysical sources? I'm having a real hard time finding the ...
4
votes
0answers
163 views

Energy-Momentum Tensor of a Gravitational Wave

In radiation gauge ($\gamma=0$), the Einstein field equation in vacuum for a perturbation $\gamma_{\mu\nu}:=g_{\mu\nu}-\eta_{\mu\nu}$ is given by $$ \boxed{ \partial^\alpha\partial_\alpha ...
3
votes
2answers
109 views

What happens to gravitational waves after arbitrarily long propagation?

Given that some systems may radiate energy in the form of gravity waves, and that gravitational waves weaken proportionally to the distance travelled, what would happen to the waves that never hit ...
3
votes
4answers
672 views

Magnetic fields and gravitational waves. How far do they reach?

I read that magnetic fields perpendicular to a current shoot out and expand all the way to infinity. Additionally a gravitational wave, no matter how small will also expand to infinity at the velocity ...
3
votes
1answer
439 views

Gravitational waves as dark energy?

Is the energy carried by gravitational radiation a viable candidate for $\Lambda$ / dark energy?
3
votes
2answers
321 views

How do gravitons and curved space time work together? [duplicate]

I've heard two different descriptions of gravity, and I'm wondering how they work together. The first is Gravitons: "The three other known forces of nature are mediated by elementary particles: ...
3
votes
2answers
199 views

How can I tell if a system has a quadrupole moment?

We know that gravitational waves are emitted (at least in GR) when the system has a time-varying quadrupole (or higher) moment. My question is Is it possible to easily tell (e.g. just by looking) if ...
3
votes
1answer
206 views

Why has a gravitational wave spin 2? (Group theoretically?)

How can I see, using group theoretic arguments, that a the quantum of a gravitational wave has spin 2? How can one show that it is described by a 5 dimensional representation of $SO(3)$? I know the ...
3
votes
1answer
68 views

Can extremely charged objects simulate some black hole effects?

If we had a positive point charge of incredible quantity, does there exist an imaginary sphere about it, such that regardless of the initial speed and direction of any electron, that electron could ...
3
votes
1answer
194 views

Event Horizon fluctuating due to gravitational waves

Do the interiors of black-holes create gravitational waves and if so do these waves cause the radius of the event horizon to fluctuate as the waves pass the horizon ?
3
votes
0answers
128 views

Computing linearized gravitational wave emission from point-like masses

I'm trying to compute the gravitational wavefront created from a set of moving masses. I'm trying to apply the equation $$ h_{jk} = \frac{2}{r} \frac{d^2 Q_{jk}}{dt^2}$$ Where $h$ is the linearized ...
3
votes
2answers
123 views

Are gravitons bound by the event horizon?

I understand that photons, even when traveling at the speed of light, cannot escape the event horizon of a black hole. Are gravitons and other virtual particles traveling at the speed of light also ...
3
votes
0answers
151 views

What does BICEP2's results tell us about gravitation waves and quantum gravity?

The BICEP2 results, unless I am mistaken, are a measurement of CMB polarization, i.e. photon polarization. That is, taken at face value they say nothing about gravity directly. Now, we can start to ...
3
votes
0answers
98 views

Gravitational waves as information carriers

Is it possible to utilize gravitational waves as a delivery system for information between two observers straddling the event horizon of a black hole? And why ?
3
votes
0answers
53 views

What are the current experimental restrictions of the possible speeds of gravitation?

Somewhere I read that the Hulse-taylor binary pulsar can not differentiate between competing theories assuming different speeds of gravity. Is it mathematically true in general, that the orbital decay ...
2
votes
1answer
198 views

The Weyl tensor and gravitational waves

How exactly is the Weyl tensor is connected with information about gravitational waves? And what are physical reasons for that?
2
votes
3answers
474 views

Why is $\langle \partial_{\mu} f(x) \rangle=0$?

I'm reading page 488 of Hobson, Efstathiou & Lasenby, and I don't understand something they write... so I came here. The concept they describe is in linearised general relativity. In particular, ...
2
votes
1answer
124 views

variations of Einstein equations with conversion between gravitational and non-gravitational energy

I'm looking for existing papers studying a variation to Einstein equation that does not rely on the annoying matter conservation identity: $$ T_{\mu \nu; \nu} = 0 $$ And instead tries to equate the ...
2
votes
1answer
206 views

Gravity waves detection, any news?

Is the detection of gravity waves a reality with nowdays technology ? Are there recent news ?
2
votes
1answer
159 views

Pauli-Fierz “massive” equation and linearized gravity

It it known that the massive spin-2 irreducible representation of the Poincare group is the traceless symmetrical transverse 4-tensor $h_{\mu \nu}$ with rank 2: $$ (\partial^{2} + m^{2})h_{\mu \nu} = ...
2
votes
1answer
82 views

Gravity waves detectors; are they all similar?

Are the gravity waves detectors all working on the same principle/effect ?
2
votes
0answers
37 views

Geodesic Deviation between Test Particles from Gravitational Wave

I'm having trouble understanding how Carroll (Spacetime and Geometry p.296) explains the effect of a passing gravitational wave on test particles. If we have two geodesics with tangents $\vec{U}$, ...
1
vote
1answer
127 views

How to detect gravitational waves?

Gravitational waves just have a little interaction with other particles. How can we detect such little influence on mass?