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B Gravitational waves as transportation

  1. Apr 27, 2017 #1
    Like the title said, is there a way at all to use gravity waves as a way to transport us to other stars??
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 27, 2017 #2


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    Gravity waves travel at the speed of light. Matter cannot. The wave is not propelling any matter along, just disturbing space slightly as it moves through space. Waves in the water do not propel the water along with the wave, just displace it some from where it was, then let it go back, as the wave passes by an area of water. Gravity waves move in a similar fashion.
  4. Apr 27, 2017 #3
    The thought I had was to have a ship almost surf it in a way after the ship got up to a speed that was as fast as the ship can go. or at least get a boost from the wave.
    I guess it was a bad idea.:blushing:
  5. Apr 27, 2017 #4


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  6. Apr 27, 2017 #5


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    This is not quite true. Gravitational waves can cause matter to move. (LIGO uses the motion of test masses to detect gravitational waves passing through the Earth.) However, the motion will be transverse to the waves, so gravitational waves cannot "push" things in their direction of propagation.
  7. Apr 27, 2017 #6
    Sorry for the bad terminology Peter and thank you for the answer. :biggrin:
  8. Apr 28, 2017 #7


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    Coincidentally, what scottdave described is not only similar to gravity waves - it is gravity waves.
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