Category: Science > Astronomy
Asked by: bill22-ga
List Price: $100.00
07 Mar 2006 20:03 PST
Expires: 08 Mar 2006 09:28 PST
Question ID: 704775
is the speed of gravity waves infinity or do they move at the speed of light? Is there any experimental data to support either answer. If it is instantaneous could GW be used as the ultimate long range communication tool? If an object is 5000 light years away and then dissappears how can an object 5000 years later be attracted to something that is not there if GW is limited to the speed of light? Articles and researchers please.
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Re: gravity waves
From: kottekoe-ga on 07 Mar 2006 21:22 PST
General relativity predicts the existence of gravity waves that travel at the speed of light. There is no direct experimental evidence for this, since gravity waves have never been detected directly. The radiative decay of the orbit of a binary pulsar was the first indirect measurement of the effect of gravity waves, but did not establish a velocity for the waves. General relativity is well supported by experimental evidence and, so far as I know, any plausible theory of gravitation predicts gravity waves that travel at the speed of light. The second part of your question is about the speed of propagation of gravitational fields, not of gravity waves. Again, however, they propagate at the speed of light. If a massive object suddenly moves, remote objects experience a force that points to the old position, until the disturbance in the gravitational field reaches them, traveling at the speed of light. Exactly the same is true for the electric field of a charged particle.
Re: gravity waves
From: qed100-ga on 08 Mar 2006 08:29 PST
"If an object is 5000 light years away and then dissappears how can an object 5000 years later be attracted to something that is not there if GW is limited to the speed of light?" Well, think upon this: If I shine an incredibly powerful flashlight toward a planet 5,000 light-years distant, in 5,000 years observers on that planet will see the light, even though the batteries ran dead 4,999.9 years earlier.
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