Creating Gravity Waves: Research Progress

In summary: For detecting gravity waves, current technology is only sensitive enough to detect events like supernovas or neutron star collisions. This is because they produce powerful enough distortions in the fabric of spacetime to be detected. Physicists have a lot of confidence in the existence of gravitational radiation, but we can't know for sure until we detect them. There is currently no theoretical way for physicists to manipulate spacetime to create gravity waves. The idea of using general relativity to create a gravitational well for space travel has been proposed, but the technology to do so does not currently exist. There have been claims of the US government having technology obtained from a crashed alien spacecraft that can manipulate spacetime, but this is not confirmed. Building a gravity wave generator is
  • #1
Nenad
698
0
Has any reaserch facility in the world developed a way to create gravity waves, sizable ones?

Regards,

Nenad
 
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  • #2
Nobody's even ever detected gravity waves; in fact, we're not even positive they exist. I don't think we're to the creation stage yet. :wink:
 
  • #3
I think you’ll find that physicists are fairly confident that gravitational radiation exists. Gravity wave detectors today are sensitive enough to detect a supernova within our own galaxy, unfortunately they happen on average once every thirty years or so. Supernova 1987A would of produced large enough gravitational waves to be detected with the bar detectors back then, but unfortunately they were being upgraded at the time.

In regards to the question, the only events powerful enough to generate large enough distortions in the spacetime fabric are such events as supernovas, neutron stars colliding, etc.
 
  • #4
Well, why would only large events such as novas and black holes be the only source for gravity waves. There is no actual theoretical way that physicists can manipulate spacetime yet?
 
  • #5
Vast said:
I think you’ll find that physicists are fairly confident that gravitational radiation exists.
I didn't mean to cast doubt on whether they exist or not, but as you yourself say, physicists are only "fairly confident" of their existence. The reason they think they exist is because all theoretical models currently predict them, and there's no reason to think such models need to be altered, so, yes, there is a lot of confidence of their existence. But we can't know for sure whether they exist or not until we do detect them, and up until now we have not.

Nenad said:
Well, why would only large events such as novas and black holes be the only source for gravity waves. There is no actual theoretical way that physicists can manipulate spacetime yet?
We've been detecting electromagnetic radiation ever since the first creature evolved eyes, and it took us until Edison to manufacture it; well, ok, that's not true, we've known how to make fires for quite a while, but we had eyes way before that, so you get my point. It's kind of hard to create something you can't detect. The problem is gravity is extremely weak compared to electromagnetism (and, well, anything), so it's taken us this long to build detectors that theory predicts will be good enough to detect strong sources of gravitational radiation.
 
  • #6
εllipse said:
there is a lot of confidence of their existence.

At least we can say they're confident enough to have spent a ton of money on trying to detect them! :smile:
 
  • #7
I read somewhere that the optimum way for space travellers to travel would be to use general relativity to its best, and vreate a gravitational well, so to speak, or to bent the spacetime in front of their desided direction, thus causing them to be pulled in and creating motion. The article stated that the US government already had technology consisiting of 3 cylindrical stuctures that can do so. The article also says that the technology is not humal made and that it was obtained from a crashed alien spacecraft . This is why I doubt its credibility, but just thinking about the idea, its ingeneous. Any imput?

Regards,

Nenad
 
  • #8
There's some calculations in MTW about the amount of power emitted by gravity waves from an enormous steel beam spinning at a rate just below self-destruction.

Let's see, that's on pg 979, and the figures are:

you have a 500 ton steel beam 1 meter in radius, 20 m long, spinning as fast as it can before it flies apart (28 radians/second).

The power it emits in gravitational radiation is then 10^-23 ergs/second.

Basically, it's hopeless. Note that you need a quadropole mass moment, so a spinning sphere or near sphere like the Earth won't emit gravity waves, you need to spin something that's non-spherical.
 
  • #9
εllipse said:
I didn't mean to cast doubt on whether they exist or not, but as you yourself say, physicists are only "fairly confident" of their existence. The reason they think they exist is because all theoretical models currently predict them, and there's no reason to think such models need to be altered, so, yes, there is a lot of confidence of their existence. But we can't know for sure whether they exist or not until we do detect them, and up until now we have not.

Let's not forget the indirect evidence from Binary Pulsar PSR 1913+16:
http://astrosun2.astro.cornell.edu/academics/courses//astro201/psr1913.htm
http://nobelprize.org/physics/laureates/1993/illpres/discovery.html
 
  • #10
Nenad said:
... The article stated that the US government already had technology consisiting of 3 cylindrical stuctures that can do so. The article also says that the technology...was obtained from a crashed alien spacecraft . ...

Yea, they're thinking about selling it to some Canadians in the Ontario province for an undisclosed obscene price; he,he. :wink: :biggrin:

However, if you're thinking about building your own gravity wave generator here's the approximation formula for determining the power (dE/dt) emitted from a rotating quadrupolar source:

[tex]P = \frac{8GI^2\omega^6}{5c^5}[/tex]

where [itex]\omega[/itex] is the angular frequency;
I is the moment of inertia (equal to [itex]2mr^2[/itex] for example for a spinning dumbbell arrangement); and the others are the usual constants.

This will give you some idea of the magnitude of the GW energy you can expect from any feasible arrangement.
Good Luck.

Creator
 
Last edited:
  • #11
Thanks for the input.

Regards,

Nenad
 
  • #12
I have a question about grav.waves. I've read how one deduces the wave-equation for gravitation. This is done by means of perturbation on the metric( g-->g+h, with g the Minkowski-metric etc). So you assume a weak gravitational field. Then you choose a gauge ( Fock-gauge ) et voila, a wave-equation. This is for example described by d'Inverno, or Carroll.

But, how does one derives a wave equation if you're stuck with a strong grav.field, and perturbation isn't any help?
 
  • #13
haushofer said:
I have a question about grav.waves. I've read how one deduces the wave-equation for gravitation. This is done by means of perturbation on the metric( g-->g+h, with g the Minkowski-metric etc). So you assume a weak gravitational field. Then you choose a gauge ( Fock-gauge ) et voila, a wave-equation. This is for example described by d'Inverno, or Carroll.

But, how does one derives a wave equation if you're stuck with a strong grav.field, and perturbation isn't any help?

You can show that gravity is a well-posed initial value problem, which basically does what you want.

This is discussed in chapter 10 of Wald's "General relativity", which is about the "intial value" formulation of general relativity. The details are very involved, but basically it cobnsists of aqsking what sort of differential equations arise from Einstein's equations. It turns out that while they have an enormous number of terms, they are linear in the highest order derivative ("quasilinear") - this makes them _locally_ have many of the properties of linear equations of the same form. This includes the property of not having solutions propagating faster than 'c' when you look at the time evolution of the state of the system. You can do this by comparing two nearby (in time) 'states', hence only need 'local' results. (Definining the state of the system and separating out time and defining a global notion of time is a big part of the problem!). I haven't really looked at the details very closely, one may need one or more of the weak or strong energy conditions too. But if you want to read about it, Wald cover's the topic.
 
  • #14
Nenad: if You are really interested in this subject, You must go beyond Standard Model: if you can read russian - You will find many sources, otherwise search em gravity theories and space-time quantum theories based on computation concepts of cellular automata... if You are only interested in technical aspect - the only way dig russian sources while still on the net (vanishing for some time so hurry :)
 
  • #15
haushofer said:
But, how does one derives a wave equation if you're stuck with a strong grav.field, and perturbation isn't any help?

Well first of all linearized perturbation was only the textbook treatment. A perturbative method that is more robust exists, it is called the post-Newtonian expansion and it still assumes weak gravity but it uses the nonlinear terms in Einstein's equations. It's useful enough for modeling the types of inspiral signals that LIGO can detect.

But when that fails there are other analytic methods that you can use before turning to numerical relativity. Some people assume a nearly Kerr metric and expand in powers of the mass ratio. That is usually referred to as black hole perturbation theory. This is extremely effective for modeling extreme mass ratio inspirals, which are events you might expect to detect in LISA.

Also there is a perturbative way to model the near zone gravitational waves in a completely different way that works very well in the strong field. The catch is that the expression doesn't yield you the metric directly, it yields you the Zerelli function which, however, can be used to directly measure the strain on an interferometer (which is actually a more useful measure when you think about it).

Those are the analytic methods that I know of to calculate gravitational waves from compact binary inspiral. There is still an important need to model this more accurately than the analytic approximate methods can yield, which is why there is a whole field dedicated to this known as Numerical Relativity. People in that field try to evolve the binary orbits using the full non-linear Einstein equations. It is a highly challenging field that has seen many great breakthroughs in the past few years.
 

1. What are gravity waves and why are they important to study?

Gravity waves are ripples in the fabric of spacetime that are created by massive objects moving through space. They were first predicted by Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity. Their study is important because they provide a way to observe and understand the effects of gravity on a large scale, and can also help us to detect and study objects in the universe that are not visible through traditional means.

2. How do scientists create gravity waves in a laboratory setting?

Currently, scientists use large-scale experiments such as the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) to create and detect gravity waves. These experiments involve using lasers and mirrors to measure tiny changes in the distance between two points caused by passing gravity waves.

3. What recent progress has been made in the research of gravity waves?

In 2015, the LIGO team announced the first direct detection of gravity waves, which was a major milestone in the study of these elusive waves. Since then, there have been several other detections and advancements in technology that have allowed for more precise measurements of gravity waves.

4. What challenges do scientists face in studying gravity waves?

One of the main challenges in studying gravity waves is their extremely small size. These waves are incredibly difficult to detect and measure, requiring extremely sensitive equipment and precise calculations. Additionally, the sources of gravity waves are often very far away and difficult to observe, making it challenging to gather data to study them.

5. How could the study of gravity waves impact our understanding of the universe?

The study of gravity waves has the potential to greatly enhance our understanding of the universe. By observing and analyzing these waves, we can gain insights into the behavior of massive objects such as black holes and neutron stars. Additionally, the detection of gravity waves can also provide evidence for the existence of other phenomena, such as dark matter and extra dimensions.

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