Gravitational waves are waves in the fabric of space time and gravity is also caused by warped space time. So do gravitational waves contain actual energy and momentum?


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    $\begingroup$ They contain energy and momentum. What's "actual" supposed to mean here? $\endgroup$ – ACuriousMind Feb 22 '16 at 22:18
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    $\begingroup$ If they didn't contain both, they couldn't be measured and, hence, wouldn't exist. $\endgroup$ – CuriousOne Feb 22 '16 at 22:33
  • $\begingroup$ No. A gravitational wave can exist in a region with zero stress-energy, so in a region with no energy density, no momentum density, no momentum flux, no pressure, and no stress. Thus they contain neither energy nor momentum themselves. But energy and momentum are not conserved in general relativity so they can still increase the energy density and momentum density of matter for instance, even though they have neither energy nor momentum themselves $\endgroup$ – Timaeus Feb 24 '16 at 20:27