Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Can gravitational waves cancel out?

  1. Dec 23, 2015 #1
    Can gravitational waves be treated like light or water waves? E.g. what would happen if two waves intersected at their max amplitude? Or what would happen if they intersected at a peak and trough?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 23, 2015 #2

    DaveC426913

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I can't see why it wouldn't be possible.

    This is essentially what gravitational waves do to an object:
    http://www.lightandmatter.com/html_books/genrel/ch09/figs/gravitational-wave.png [Broken]
    They alternately squash it and squeeze it.

    So, two overlapping crests would cause cumulative squishing, while a crest and trough would result in momentarily zero squishing.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook