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When a supernova occurs is it expected that the gravity wave

  1. Feb 6, 2008 #1


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    When a supernova occurs is it expected that the gravity wave will reach a point at the same time as the light?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 6, 2008 #2
  4. Feb 6, 2008 #3


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    I think so. Approximately.
    In everything I've read it's assumed that gravity waves travel at the same speed as light.
    It's odd that gravity waves haven't been observed yet, though.

    I would imagine that if gravity waves associated with various sorts of supernovae are observed, there may be differences in the arrival times of the signals, stemming from delays at the source. Even if, as I assume, the signals travel at the same speed thru empty space.

    It takes the light a while to emerge. The gravity wave signaling the collapse might conceivably get here before the flash.

    I was looking at the lightcurves of supernovae a while back and noticed that in some cases it takes several days for the visible brightness to build up. maybe someone can summarize the situation. In that case, we could get a gravity wave signal from the collapse immediately (if it was detectable) and then over the course of the next minutes or hours, or even days, see the light build up.
  5. Feb 6, 2008 #4
    An exact spherical collapse or explosion, no matter how intense, does not produce gravitational wave. Only deviations from spherical symmetry do and if those deviations are 'small' in some sense, that would explain why the produced wave is not as spectacular as the light wave and hence below our sensitivity of detection.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2008
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