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Author Topic: Do gravity waves travel at the same speed as light?  (Read 1063 times)

Nick Constantine

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Nick Constantine asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Hiya I am studying physics at school an we have learnt about gravity waves.

Nothing can travel faster than light through space, but we say gravity waves travel at the same speed.  

The speed of light is determined by the medium it is going through, would this be the same for gravity waves? And would their speed change proportionally with the speed of light through the medium? i.e. Could there ever be a situation where gravity waves would be travelling either faster or slower than light through a medium?

I'm thinking maybe in a Bose condensate or something, when the light is briefly trapped in beween electrons?

But I dont know!!! Thanks very much

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 26/01/2010 14:30:02 by _system »


 

Offline yor_on

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Do gravity waves travel at the same speed as light?
« Reply #1 on: 26/01/2010 16:59:20 »
Depends on what you think.

The Higgs field is a 'field', meaning that it exist everywhere.
And then there is the idea of the Higgs boson.

Take a look here too.

But if you think of gravity just as a field.
then you could think of it as a spiderweb, and when a fly touches that web you have a 'vibration' traveling through it.

That vibration might travel at 'c'. but we have no proof of gravity traveling at 'c' yet. The LHC is looking for that kind of proof now.

Take a look here too, if you want to argue with your teacher, that is :)

===

As for "The speed of light is determined by the medium it is going through, would this be the same for gravity waves"

I don't think so at last? Consider that we expect there to be no gravity in the middle of our earth f.ex . How would that fit with the idea of gravity traveling at different 'speeds?'

Gravity seems to localized in each point of spacetime, permeating them as if they wasn't there at all. Inertia is an excellent proof of that. Mass and acceleration is what seems to create this, as uniform motion in itself is not measurable, except when defined against another object. Whereas acceleration always will present itself as an increased gravity in the frame being accelerated.



« Last Edit: 26/01/2010 19:24:21 by yor_on »
 

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Do gravity waves travel at the same speed as light?
« Reply #1 on: 26/01/2010 16:59:20 »

 

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