1
$\begingroup$

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?

$\endgroup$

closed as unclear what you're asking by Kyle Kanos, ACuriousMind, Sebastian Riese, John Rennie, user36790 Feb 23 '16 at 7:09

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 5
    $\begingroup$ They contain energy and momentum. What's "actual" supposed to mean here? $\endgroup$ – ACuriousMind Feb 22 '16 at 22:18
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ 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