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B Gravitational waves and "warp drive"

  1. Oct 16, 2017 #1
    I have no idea where this belongs or if it will be deleted but would Alcubierre drive cause detectable gravitational waves? And since I'm heading out on this limb would the direction of propulsion be indiscernible?

    As per the Wikipedia description it follows from a solution to the same general relativity EFE's that predicted gravitational waves, so if this isn't too far off from realistic physics does anyone have any comments?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 16, 2017 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    I don't know if this has been explicitly studied mathematically, but looking at the metric for the Alcubierre drive I do not think it would generate gravitational waves. GWs are generated by the third time derivative of the mass quadrupole moment--basically you need at least two objects orbiting a common center of mass.

    There are lots of solutions of the EFE that do not contain gravitational waves, so the implied inference you are making here is not valid.
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