Register to reply

Are gravitational waves relativistic or Newtonian phenomenon?

Share this thread:
pero2912
#1
Mar17-14, 12:52 PM
P: 11
Today, all of the scientific world (including /r/physics) buzzes about BICEP2's discovery of gravitational waves dating from Big Bang as an undispute confirmation of the general relativity. Now I wonder is it really GR? Can't it be explained by simple Newton's mechanics?
I mean if you can explain electromagnetic waves as as a consequence of accelerating charge then sure you can expalain gravitational waves as a consequence of the accelerating mass.
Phys.Org News Partner Physics news on Phys.org
On-chip topological light: First measurements of transmission and delay
A two-stage trap for single protons leads to measurement of their magnetic properties
Unexpected phenomenon discovered at the surface of a transition metal oxide material
D H
#2
Mar17-14, 01:00 PM
Mentor
P: 15,070
Quote Quote by pero2912 View Post
I mean if you can explain electromagnetic waves as as a consequence of accelerating charge then sure you can expalain gravitational waves as a consequence of the accelerating mass.
Surely not. Gravitation is instantaneous in Newtonian mechanics. There is nothing in the Newtonian description of gravity that allows for gravitational waves.

Another way to look at it: Gravitational waves represent energy lost to the universe by orbiting bodies. This doesn't happen in Newtonian mechanics, where gravitationally orbiting bodies conserve energy and angular momentum.
pero2912
#3
Mar17-14, 01:05 PM
P: 11
Is there any intuitive analogy to the EM fields in gravity? I mean, in EM you have two fields, magnetic and electric where one's change produces other's. Is it something similar in GE?

D H
#4
Mar17-14, 01:08 PM
Mentor
P: 15,070
Are gravitational waves relativistic or Newtonian phenomenon?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravitoelectromagnetism.

Note that this is a purely relativistic result. There is no such analogy in Newtonian mechanics.
jbunch
#5
Mar17-14, 06:18 PM
P: 14
I believe I shouldn't be asking a question under another question but.... since the discovery of g waves was brought up...I didn't see the point in opening another thread. My question is this: Why is the discovery of gravitational waves being considered irrefutable proof for the theory of inflation? Are other theory's that include g waves now considered validated? (fecetious) tia
WannabeNewton
#6
Mar17-14, 07:00 PM
C. Spirit
Sci Advisor
Thanks
WannabeNewton's Avatar
P: 5,450
Quote Quote by pero2912 View Post
I mean if you can explain electromagnetic waves as as a consequence of accelerating charge then sure you can expalain gravitational waves as a consequence of the accelerating mass.
EM is a relativistic theory, not a Newtonian theory. The field theory needs to predict wave equations for the fields to satisfy (e.g. in vacuum) in order for wave-like solutions to exist for the theory. EM does this but Newtonian gravity does not.
Khashishi
#7
Mar18-14, 05:43 PM
P: 886
I don't think the primary source claims anything about proving inflation, so anything to that extent is probably added by bloggers.


Register to reply

Related Discussions
Magnetism as a Relativistic Phenomenon Special & General Relativity 1
Relativistic kinetic energy comapred to newtonian Advanced Physics Homework 2
Differences in Newtonian and Relativistic predictions of gravity Special & General Relativity 1
Acceleration and velocity: newtonian versus relativistic interpretation. Special & General Relativity 64
How can magnetic field be a relativistic phenomenon? Special & General Relativity 8