Two questions.

It is said that time can only go slower in gravity fields and if you move faster.

I have heard that when a gravitational wave pass earth then the space/time vibrate and time change for an instance.

But a wave is often with a top and a valley.

They have now atomic clocks that might be able to detect time variations, placed in satellites around the sun and "quantum entangled". "Using Atomic Clocks to Detect Gravitational Waves" http://arxiv.org/abs/1501.00996

So what if we could compare time ticks between clocks in space at "absolute frame of reference" where time has its maximum universal speed as time in deep space between Galaxy Filaments.

Will we only detect that time ticks slower for an instance when the gravational wave pass?

1. Or will we detect that time tick slower AND faster than normal time also, as compared to zero gravity time and no movement time in "absolute frame of reference"?

2. Can time go let's say 10 times faster by theory/mathematics, by a extreme theoretical gravitational wave, than time in "absolute frame of reference time"?

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    $\begingroup$ There is no "absolute frame of reference", not even if you put it in scare quotes. $\endgroup$
    – ACuriousMind
    Commented Nov 13, 2015 at 0:02
  • $\begingroup$ yes it is "where time has its maximum universal speed as time in deep space between Galaxy Filaments" $\endgroup$
    – user83548
    Commented Nov 13, 2015 at 6:07
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    $\begingroup$ I'm a bit surprised this got VTCed as unclear or opinion based as it seems clear to me. If we have two synchronised clocks in Minkowski spacetime and a gravitational wave passes through the region containing one of the clocks but not the other do the clocks remain synchronised during and after the passing of the gravity wave? $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 13, 2015 at 6:21
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    $\begingroup$ @JohnRennie: I suspect the use of absolute reference time probably is some cause for the unclear votes. $\endgroup$
    – Kyle Kanos
    Commented Nov 13, 2015 at 12:52
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    $\begingroup$ @JohnRennie: I don't think this is too broad (which is what I was discussing in the meta post), I was just pointing out a possible basis for an unclear vote. Your first comment is my interpretation of the question as well. $\endgroup$
    – Kyle Kanos
    Commented Nov 14, 2015 at 11:43

2 Answers 2


Gravitational waves do cause fluctuations in clock rate. However, a gravitational wave as strong as you request would very strongly self-gravitate. It might even collapse into a black hole. By comparison, this is the level of time dilation one would experience hovering above a black hole at a distance about 1% of its radius.


I have finally got a answer from a professor Ulf Danielsson. http://katalog.uu.se/empinfo?languageId=1&id=N94-1558_2&q=Ulf+Danielsson

He say that time fluctuate around the time of the position where the gravitational wave pass. So now the question remain. Can the general relativity theory mathematically describe a gravitational wave that make the time fluctuate let's say ten times faster and ten times slower?

Regards MagI


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