Following the new discovery of gravitational waves by LIGO, I just want to make sure I understand the concept of these waves. I believe I currently have a novice understanding of gravitational waves: when a large, fairly sudden change happens to the position of a particle (acceleration or its derivatives) that has a certain field, waves are created in that field. The waves have properties that reflect on the nature of the field, and therefore according to GR, these waves would be disturbances in spacetime. I understand that if anything it is an oversimplification, but do I roughly have the idea? Also, could you explain some of the more advanced parts? I know that the Einstein field equations predict gravitational waves, is this just because it shows that gravity causes spacetime curvature? Is there more to it? If yes, could you explain how the EFE predicts them? Thanks guys! --EDIT-- I apologize for my bad terminology.