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Are gravitational waves relativistic or Newtonian phenomenon? 
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#1
Mar1714, 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. 


#2
Mar1714, 01:00 PM

Mentor
P: 15,070

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. 


#3
Mar1714, 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?



#4
Mar1714, 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. 


#5
Mar1714, 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



#6
Mar1714, 07:00 PM

C. Spirit
Sci Advisor
Thanks
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#7
Mar1814, 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.



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