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Graviational wave

  1. Sep 26, 2006 #1
    Vibrating charges emits electromagnetic waves. Does any vibrating mass is capable of producing wave (that can be called graviational wave)?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 26, 2006 #2


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    Theory says, yes... it has not yet been observed experimentally.
  4. Sep 26, 2006 #3
    There are experiments going on at the moment - pointing michelson-morley style interferometers at supernovae and trying to detect the spacetime distortions (supposedly) given off. Because the gravitational force is actually incredibly weak, these are very difficult to see - hence the supernova-as-a-subject requirement; nothing else is powerful enough.
  5. Sep 26, 2006 #4


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    Gravitational waves are incredibly weak (OOM 10-40 em waves) and might be detectable but only from the strongest gravitational fields.

    Note that if the system retains spherical symmetry, such as in a Cepheid Variable star that oscillates in diameter, or a supernova that explodes more or less symmetrically, gravitational waves are not produced.

    Systems that should produce detectable gravitational waves are closely orbiting pulsars PSR J0737-3039A/B and colliding neutron stars/black holes such as those that are thought to be a possible source of short GRBs. As Integral said none have yet been detected.

    Last edited: Sep 26, 2006
  6. Sep 26, 2006 #5
  7. Sep 26, 2006 #6
    This is quite an exciting field: If astronomical source estimates are correct, LIGO is now approaching the sensitivity where there is a real chance of them making a detection anytime in the next "year or several" -- and whenever LISA launches, it should be swamped with signal (interferometers work like omnidirectional microphones). With any luck there will exist a completely new branch of astronomy within a couple decades.
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