The tag has no wiki summary.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

74
votes
5answers
6k 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? ...
21
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
16
votes
1answer
701 views

Can gravitational waves be red-shifted?

Whenever the Doppler effect is mentioned, it's typically in the context of sound waves or electromagnetic radiation. On the cosmological scale, red-shifting is also important because of the enormous ...
11
votes
2answers
672 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 $$S=\int \! \mathrm{d}^4x \,\sqrt{|g|} \, \mathcal{R} \, \, \, ?$$
11
votes
4answers
849 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
343 views

Is there a good chance that gravitational waves will be detected in the next years?

Is there a good chance that gravitational waves will be detected in the next years? Theoretical estimates on the size of the effect and the sensitivity of the newest detectors should permit a ...
10
votes
3answers
571 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
55 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
561 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
1answer
285 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
256 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
135 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
611 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, ...
7
votes
2answers
267 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
236 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
679 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
3answers
326 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
0answers
189 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
204 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
2answers
524 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, ...
6
votes
0answers
199 views

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

What is the status of gravitational wave searches such as LIGO?
5
votes
4answers
185 views

Applications of the Linearized Einstein Field Equations (EFE)

Look up linearized Einstein field equations anywhere and the first thing you'll see will be a discussion of gravitational waves. Using the linearized EFE's is pretty handy when studying gravitational ...
5
votes
2answers
272 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
3answers
493 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
674 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
305 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
264 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
194 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
941 views

Is my interpretation of how a gravitational wave is formed correct?

I'm sure many here are familiar with the following image showing the 2D representation of how the fabric of spacetime is warped by the presence of mass:- Can this fabric be interpreted as an ...
4
votes
2answers
113 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
79 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
122 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
231 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
146 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
1answer
88 views

Can light produce weak gravitational waves?

I have read online that light can produce a weak gravitational field (for example antiparallel beams should, in principle, attract weakly). This made me wonder if light can produce minute ...
4
votes
1answer
203 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 ?
4
votes
0answers
74 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
455 views

Gravitational waves as dark energy?

Is the energy carried by gravitational radiation a viable candidate for $\Lambda$ / dark energy?
3
votes
4answers
868 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
2answers
467 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
226 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
232 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
0answers
35 views

How do inflationary models predict the generation of gravitational waves during the inflationary period?

Recent results from the BICEP2 experiment have produced a lot of talk about the primordial gravitational waves produced during the inflationary period. I would like to have some explanation about how ...
3
votes
0answers
130 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
145 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
159 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
1answer
164 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 ?
2
votes
2answers
156 views

Theory that gets rid of gravitional wave

Is there any theory that gets rid of gravitational wave and still matches with all correct predictions made by standard physics theories? (e.g. General Relativity)
2
votes
2answers
133 views

Noise in laboratory sources of gravitational waves

Suppose you wanted to detect gravitational waves from a lab source (I know, any reasonable man-made source will be several orders of magnitude below detection technology, but humor me for a second). ...