What are gravitational waves in simple language?

What are gravitational waves in simple language?

Gravitational waves are ripples in spacetime which are created whenever objects with mass move. They were predicted by Albert Einstein in 1916 on the basis of his theory of general relativity. Sources of detectable gravitational waves include binary star systems composed of white dwarfs, neutron stars, or black holes.

What is in a gravitational wave?

“Gravitational waves are ripples in spacetime. When objects move, the curvature of spacetime changes and these changes move outwards (like ripples on a pond) as gravitational waves. A gravitational wave is a stretch and squash of space and so can be found by measuring the change in length between two objects.”

What can we learn from gravitational waves?

Detecting and analyzing the information carried by gravitational waves is allowing us to observe the Universe in a way never before possible, providing astronomers and other scientists with their first glimpses of literally un-seeable wonders.

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How do you make a gravitational wave?

Continuous gravitational waves are thought to be produced by a single spinning massive object like a neutron star. Any bumps on or imperfections in the spherical shape of this star will generate gravitational waves as it spins. If the spin-rate of the star stays constant, so too are the gravitational waves it emits.

What do gravitational waves look like?

A gravitational wave is an invisible (yet incredibly fast) ripple in space. Gravitational waves travel at the speed of light (186,000 miles per second). These waves squeeze and stretch anything in their path as they pass by. A gravitational wave is an invisible (yet incredibly fast) ripple in space.

What does a gravity wave look like?

A gravity wave is a vertical wave. The best example I can think of in describing what a gravity wave looks like is to think of a rock being thrown into a pond. Ripples or circles migrate from the point the rock hits the water. An up and down motion is created.

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What are gravitational waves and why are they important to study and define?

Gravitational waves are tiny ripples in the fabric of space-time, which travel at the speed of light. It is difficult to overstate just how important this discovery is; the detection of gravitational waves has opened a new window on the universe. Prior to this, scientists studied the universe through light waves.

Are there gravitational waves?

Gravitational waves are ‘ripples’ in space-time caused by some of the most violent and energetic processes in the Universe. The strongest gravitational waves are produced by cataclysmic events such as colliding black holes, supernovae (massive stars exploding at the end of their lifetimes), and colliding neutron stars.

What is a gravitational wave?

A gravitational wave is an invisible (yet incredibly fast) ripple in space. Gravitational waves travel at the speed of light (186,000 miles per second).

What can we learn from the detection of gravitational waves?

The first detection of gravitational waves was a very important event in science. Before this, just about everything we knew about the universe came from studying waves of light. Now we have a new way to learn about the universe—by studying waves of gravity. Gravitational waves will help us learn many new things about our universe.

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How do binary systems produce gravitational waves?

The simplest system that produces gravitational waves is two masses orbiting their common center of mass. One of the most common such system is a binary star system – two stars orbiting each other’s common center of mass. It turns out that about half of the stars you see in the sky are members of a binary system.

What are the ripples of space gravitational waves?

Scientists call these ripples of space gravitational waves. Gravitational waves are invisible. However, they are incredibly fast. They travel at the speed of light (186,000 miles per second). Gravitational waves squeeze and stretch anything in their path as they pass by.