Waves in spacetime formed by the acceleration of massive bodies. A passing wave causes spacetime to be stretched and squashed by a very small amount. Typically we can only detect the most energic gravitational events such as black hole mergers.

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Can the expansion of spacetime be directly measured with laser interferometry (like GW can)

LIGO has a mind boggling sensitivity. What would it take to directly measure the expansion of spacetime, along the laser beam? I suppose it could be done at interplanetary scale.
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My supernovae question [duplicate]

I understand the collapse of a star during a supernova, as the outward pressure cannot compete with the gravitational field. Is it conceivable, that a relaxation of the space-time curvature is what ...
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Gravitational field released during supernovae

During the collapse of a star at the commencement of supernovae, the intense pressures force fusion and fission to create the heavier elements and release vast amounts of energy. As this energy/mass ...
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49 views

Gravitational Waves and the Big bang

The Ligo website says "Detecting the relic gravitational waves from the Big Bang will allow us to see farther back into the history of the Universe than ever before." I find this puzzling. How can a ...
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81 views

What star system/Galaxy did LIGO observe the gravity wave?

Are there any coordinates for the Black Hole system, or galaxy for which the LIGO observations, observed the gravity wave? Any coordinates of the black hole system for which the gravity wave signal ...
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What are the dimensions of LIGO Detector evacuated chambers?

The LIGO complex is very large, but I assume that there is a very small chamber that actually does the science since they are measuring very small sheers. How big around is the actual evacuated ...
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When black holes such as those detected by LIGO merge, in what ways does the Schwarzschild Radius warp?

I was reading the paper about LIGO's detection of gravitational waves, and I wanted to know what the Schwarzschild Radius did. For example, I feel like the simulation here is oversimplified, and that ...
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68 views

What are gravitational waves actually? [duplicate]

I read about the LIGo experiment recently, but i didn't understand their significance. Although, it's clear to me that the gravitational waves do exist and are caused by large accelerating bodies in ...
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Would humans hear gravity waves from a binary BH fusion nearby?

The frequency of the gravity waves detected by aLIGO recently were in the audible sound spectra. Actually spanning over half of the keys of a piano, I've been told, during 2/10 or so seconds. Would a ...
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What is the schedule for science runs of aLIGO (and VIRGO)?

Advanced LIGO seems to operate only intermittently. Is there a schedule for at what times it will be able to register new gravity waves? Even if no formal schedule is available, what main factors ...
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What would harnessing of gravitational waves look like?

We have harnessed and learned to generate and control sound waves, light waves, water waves, and electromagnetic waves in general. What would be needed for science to be able to generate and use ...
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171 views

Will gravitational waves too far away ever reach us?

Gravity is the curvature of spacetime, and its effects travel at lightspeed. However, space is expanding; eventually, light from distant galaxies will become more and more redshifted, and we will no ...
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Does LIGO have a blind spot?

If I understand the principle of operation of operation of LIGO, it detects relative distortions of the two perpendicular arms. So if both arms are distorted the same way, nothing would be spotted. ...
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How fast can and do gravitational waves travel?

I was thrilled by the recent announcement of the detection of gravitational waves. The media has done a great job explaining them and the theory behind them and I get the concept fairly well. But if ...
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Frequency of gravitational wave detection

You may have heard in the news that the LIGO experiment recently detected a gravitational wave. Though I'm not an astronomer, the paper is a good read and mostly accessible. The detection of the ...
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How did LIGO verify that the gravitational waves originated 1.3 billion years ago from two specific black hole collision? [duplicate]

So they finally found gravitational waves. That's cool and I trust is the case, but how did they confirm it originated 1.3 billion years ago and that two blackholes merging caused it and what ...
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1answer
155 views

Could a pair of binary black holes form within a star?

After the discovery of gravitational waves by LIGO last week the team behind the Fermi gamma-ray telescope released a paper that showed a soft gamma ray burst was detected only 0.4s after the ...
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What did LIGO Actually See? (Gravitational waves discovery)

I am trying to find an original video/image of what LIGO actually saw, but all I can find is artist renditions of gravitational waves.
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Could gravity waves be used to confirm the existence of a ninth planet?

Shortly after the news of the discovery of gravity waves, my physics professor explained the significance of the discovery by comparing it to a medical X-ray machine. He said that gravity waves can be ...
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Problem with denoising the BICEP2 data?

This question pertains to this article which talks about why the BICEP2 measurements of B-mode polarization in Cosmic microwave background radiation turned out to be noise from galactic stardust. They ...
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The effect of gravitational wave is like tidal forces?

What would happen if a strong gravitational wave passed through a human body or any other kind of material? The shape of the human body would change? Would the human body be distorted apart? If ...
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1answer
58 views

How far should the source be, for the gravitation waves to be visible on Earth?

If I understand it well enough, gravitational waves cause ripples in the space-time fabric. To our eyes, that would look like those rippling-effects on amateur videos. Where does a source have to ...
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2answers
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What would happen if those gravitational waves were much stronger?

What if those gravitational waves detected would be actually so strong that the distance of those mirrors moved would be larger? Not 1/1000th of proton but rather one millimeter, or one meter or even ...
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2answers
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How to derive the redshift of GW150914?

We all know LIGO has detected gravitational wave(GW) directly. prl The LIGO team argue they detected the merger of two solar mass black holes($36M\odot+29M\odot-3M\odot$) at z=0.09. My questions ...
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Why can we detect gravitational waves?

Now that LIGO has finally measured gravitational waves using a huge laser interferometer, to me, the question remains, why was it possible? As it is explained in many news articles, gravitational ...
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What caused gravitational waves detected by LIGO?

I understand that in recent discovery gravitational waves have been detected. But knowing space time is not static it probably changes constantly in many places in the universe due to changes in ...
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Will we see gravitational waves from the big bang? [duplicate]

This is almost identical to an unanswered question already asked, but I want to put it a different way. The announced LIGO event was from a localized source. I assume that gravitational waves from the ...
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Why do Earth and moon move apart but binary black holes move closer?

According to the accepted answer on Is the moon moving further away from Earth and closer to the Sun? Why?, the moon is receding from Earth because tidal forces and friction cause energy to be lost. ...
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Gravitational wave detection time difference between LIGO Livingston and LIGO Hanford

Quote from LIGO's news release: By looking at the time of arrival of the signals—the detector in Livingston recorded the event 7 milliseconds before the detector in Hanford—scientists can say ...
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Quantum Mechanics after the detection of Gravitational Waves

Of course everyone knows by now of the detection of Gravitational waves But, since General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics don't get along, can we say now that this detection proves that Quantum ...
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1answer
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Measuring time and distance in space

When reading through articles about discovering gravitational waves, I got basic understanding of events that happened. But one thing wasn't clear for me. They say that two black holes collided 1.3 ...
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How to compensate the effect of tectonic activity in devices like LIGO?

In late 2015, the LIGO project team announced the detection of gravitational waves. The detector is (very basically) a laser measuring the distance between two mirrors in vacuum, over a large-enough ...
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3answers
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Why is the detection of gravitational waves such a “Big” deal? [duplicate]

I'm a non-scientist. Today's announcement of LIGO's detection of GW waves has been heralded as "huge" –on the same level as the Higgs Boson detection. I realize this is the last remaining part of ...
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1answer
100 views

Is it possible to get a glimpse of the Big Bang through gravitation waves?

I read in an article announcing the detection of gravitational waves by LIGO that it will be possible to detect them from the Big Bang. Is this true?
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Where can I watch the announcement from LIGO about gravitational waves?

Today the LIGO consortium are having a press conference to update us on their search for gravitational waves. How should I watch the announcement?
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What do gravitational waves allow us to understand?

Before reading this question, you should read this paper. From what I understood, we managed to detect gravitational waves for the first time. Is this discovery going to help us understand ...
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1answer
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What will eLISA be trying to observe?

eLisa - Evolved Laser Interferometer Space Antenna. A LISA-like mission is designed to directly observe gravitational waves, which are distortions of space-time travelling at the speed of light. ...
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1answer
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Redshift for gravitational waves?

According to general relativity, would gravitational waves experience the same sort of redshift that electromagnetic waves experience due to the expansion of the universe? And are there astrophysical ...
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1answer
73 views

Binary stars system ultimate fate

I read an article mentioning that when two stars orbiting each other they'll produce gravitational waves that can carry away energy into space. These phenomenon increases the speed of the two orbiting ...
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How did the Hulse-Taylor Pulsar Provide Confirming Evidence of General Relativity?

What measurements and observations of the Hulse-Taylor Pulsar agreed precisely with the predictions of general relativity, and how did these measurements support the theory?
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How exactly does inflation convert random gravity fluctuations into coherent gravitational waves?

In the course of this very enjoyable press announcement, it is mentioned that inflation can create gravity waves by amplifying gravity fluctuations. I do not properly understand this statement. I ...
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Why can primordial tensor perturbations of the CMB be ascribed to gravitational waves?

Why can primordial tensor perturbations of the CMB be ascribed to gravitational waves? Is this attribution unique, or are there other michanisms that could lead to the ecitation of tensor modes? In ...