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167
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9answers
16k views

Why is the detection of gravitational waves so significant?

LIGO has announced the detection of gravitational waves on 11 Feb, 2016. I was wondering why the detection of gravitational waves was so significant? I know it is another confirmation of general ...
76
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? ...
54
votes
4answers
11k views

Do gravitational waves travel faster than light?

In Feb 12, 2016 edition of Times of India, an article read [with the discovery of gravitational waves, we will be able to] Track Supernovas hours before they're visible to any telescope because ...
43
votes
8answers
4k views

In theory, could gravitational waves be used to make a “gravity laser”?

The sources I've read compare gravitational waves to electromagnetic waves. I'm curious to what extent this is. In theory, could gravity be harnessed in similar ways to how we've used electromagnetic ...
39
votes
5answers
5k views

Would you hear a gravitational wave, if its amplitude and frequency were suitable?

If there was a source of a continuous gravitational wave at (say) 50hz, and amplitude of say a micrometer (a typical sound wave displacement, I think), and you were nearby (standing happily on a ...
35
votes
7answers
5k views

What are gravitational waves made of?

The following facts are what I think I know about gravitational waves: Distortion of space-time moving away from a source at light speed. Produced by very powerful event in the universe such as ...
28
votes
10answers
11k views

How does Zumberge's 1981 gravitational measurements relate to gravitational waves?

Gravitational waves were discovered 35 years ago without fanfare in 1981/2 by Zumberge, R L Rinker and J E Faller, then completely ignored. See: "A Portable Apparatus for Absolute Measurements of ...
28
votes
5answers
2k views

Is the graviton hypothetical?

Wikipedia lists the graviton as a hypothetical particle. I wonder whether graviton is indeed hypothetical or does its existence directly follow from modern physics? Does observation of gravitational ...
27
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3answers
2k views

Could (old) LIGO have detected GW150914?

The merging black hole binary system GW150914 was detected in only 16 days of aLIGO data at a signal level that appears to be well above the detection threshold at around 5 sigma. There are no further ...
26
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2answers
3k 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 ...
25
votes
3answers
3k views

How strong were the gravitational waves that LIGO detected at the source?

Congrats to the LIGO team on the announcement of their discovery of gravity waves! The articles I've read say that the distortion we see here is much smaller than a proton. What about at the source? ...
23
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
17
votes
2answers
1k views

Why there is no dipole gravitational wave?

I have read that "thanks to conservation of momentum" there is no dipole gravitational radiation. I am confused about this, since I cannot see the difference with e.m. radiation. Is this due to the ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

How can I read off the fact that gravity is associated with spin-2 particles from the 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 $$S=\int \! \mathrm{d}^4x \,\sqrt{|g|} \, \mathcal{R} \, \, \, ?$$
15
votes
3answers
4k views

Can gravitational wave be used for data transmission?

Imagine an advanced civilization which can manipulate gravity like we manipulate electromagnetic radiation. Could they already be using gravitational waves for data transmission across different ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

Wouldn't angular momentum of a binary star system decrease?

Consider a binary star system, as these stars go around one another they would emit gravitational waves. Since, the graviton is a spin 2 particle. Wouldn't the angular momentum of the stars decrease? ...
14
votes
2answers
977 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

The LIGO Gravitational Wave Detection: have deep-mantle earthquakes been ruled out? [duplicate]

Everywhere I've looked so far that talks about the possibility the LIGO detection was an earthquake, involves being ruled out due to the large distance between the two LIGO sites. Two identical ...
13
votes
2answers
309 views

Did merging Black Holes in GW150914 give up entropy and information to the gravitational waves, since they lost 3 solar masses?

Since the final Black Hole (BH) had 3 solar masses less of mass than the original binary BH, it seems the 2 BHs lost mass, and with it event surface area, entropy, and information. If that came from ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

LIGO flawed by the identical expansion of laser wavelength and arms in presence of a gravitational wave?

LIGO, Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, is a large-scale physics experiment aiming to directly detect gravitational waves. The device measures the phase shift laser beams. If I ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

Trying to understand what a gravitational wave is

It seems to me that there is a great deal of interest in the possibility of gravitational waves. Several gravitational-wave detectors have been built, and there is even a branch of science with that ...
12
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
1k 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?
12
votes
1answer
606 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
1k views

Do the LIGO observations constitute proof of a black hole merger, and what happened to the black holes?

Information says that the gravitational waves, recently detected by LIGO, correspond (according to Einstein theory equations) to the effect of two black holes merging (with the masses of both black ...
10
votes
1answer
503 views

How close would you have to be to the merger of two black holes, for the effects of gravitational waves to be detected without instruments?

Assume two black holes in the most common size range, spiraling into each other until they merge. The event releases significant amounts of energy via gravitational waves, which warp the space-time. ...
10
votes
1answer
652 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
525 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
270 views

How can laser interferometry be used to measure path difference smaller than wavelength of laser light?

The currently proposed Gravitational wave detection apparatus consists of Michelson Interferometer which is supposed to measure distances of the order of $10^{-22}$m. But the wavelength of the light ...
10
votes
1answer
365 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Is it possible to produce gravitational waves artificially?

Why don't they make a ball with irregularities, say the size of a tennis ball, then spin it very rapidly, so it would produce gravitational waves like a spinning star with irregularities on it? Is ...
9
votes
2answers
4k 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, ...
9
votes
1answer
228 views

So Black Holes Actually Merge! In 1/5th of a Second - How?

I've read a lot of conflicting answers in these forums. However, today saw the awesome announcement of gravitational waves. Two black holes merged: ...
9
votes
2answers
906 views

Monopole Gravitational waves exist?

GR says that monopole gravitational radiation does not exist. I understand the reasons for this. However there is this effect (which seems to me to have the hallmarks of a wave). Paper at arXiv: ...
9
votes
1answer
896 views

What do the line segments on the BICEP2 B-mode polarization map mean?

The first image of BICEP2 visuals shows the "BICEP2 B-mode Signal", described as follows: Gravitational waves from inflation generate a faint but distinctive twisting pattern in the ...
9
votes
1answer
795 views

G4v Gravitational Wave vs General Relativity vs LIGO Observation

CalTech emeritus professor Carver Mead produced an alternative prediction, to General Relativity, for gravitation wave observation which he published last year in anticipation of LIGO observations. ...
9
votes
1answer
292 views

Can curvature waves in f(R) theories explain gravitational lensing in cluster collisions?

The Einstein-Hilbert action leading to Einstein's equations is $$S\sim\int R \sqrt{-g}\, {\rm d}^4 x$$ There is a class of modifications of Einstein's relativity called $f(R)$ theories of gravity ...
9
votes
2answers
1k 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, ...
9
votes
1answer
80 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
92 views

CMB curly B-modes and dark matter

I raised a question a while ago regarding weak gravitational lensing of galaxies and the CMB. With all the fuzz with the BICEP2 data, I think it is time to raise even more questions about this amazing ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Gravitational waves frequency

When people quote the discovery of gravitational waves no reference seems to be made to the frequency, presumably this is about the current state of detectors. Or are the frequencies detected the ...
8
votes
1answer
768 views

The final parsec “problem”

Many and perhaps all galaxies seem to contain supermassive black holes of about $10^7 M_\odot$ at their centres. Determining their origins is of great astrophysical interest. In what I understand to ...
8
votes
2answers
388 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
319 views

Is there a “CGBR”?

The recent discovery by the LIGO made me wonder about this. We know that there exists a CMBR, Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation, a blanket of electromagnetic energy covering the universe, made by ...
8
votes
1answer
130 views

How many galaxies could be the source of the recent LIGO detection?

The recent LIGO detection is pretty exciting, and a lot of people are asking whether there is a chance of optical detection of the black hole pair that created the signal. From a cursory reading of ...
8
votes
2answers
884 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
259 views

Do gravitational lenses work on gravitational waves?

Do gravitational lenses work on gravitational waves? Could we get an Einstein cross of gravity?
8
votes
1answer
361 views

Simple quadrupole field not yet in Lorenz gauge?

I'm having trouble reproducing some of the results regarding gravitational waves in the Wald's General Relativity. In section 4.4 of gravitational radiation, eq.4.4.49 shows the far-field generated ...
8
votes
4answers
383 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
2answers
350 views

Can gravitational waves act as information carriers between observers in- and outside a black hole?

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 ?