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Gravity wave: a tidal force that propagates through spacetime.--------Gravity waves are essentially tidal forces that vary with time and position; that is all they are. As a gravity wave passes over you, you are alternately stretched and compressed in ways that depend on the particular form of the wave.
The same thing goes for gravity, it does not expend 'energy'. there is no such thing as a 'tired gravitational potential'.
In Einsteins universe, and as I read it, you have 4 dimensions that cling together, not separable. In that universe a gravitational wave seems best described as something happening inside a 'jello' consisting of those four dimensions.
something must become of this energy when it passes thru me causing stretching and contraction some of it must be converted to some other form presumably thermal.
gravitational waves Distortions of space geometry that propagate through space with the speed of light, analogous to ripples on the surface of a pond propagating as water waves.
With space and time not as rigid background structures, but as dynamical objects (changing as the world changes in and around them), general relativity predicts fundamentally new phenomena. One of the most fascinating is the existence of gravitational waves: small distortions of space-time geometry which propagate through space as waves!
Simple gravitational waves only squeeze and stretch space in directions perpendicular to the direction of their propagation. In the language of physics, such waves are called transversal.
The effect of a propagating gravitational wave is to deform space in a quadrupolar form. The effect alternately elongates space in one direction while compressing space in an orthogonal direction and vice versa, with the frequency of the gravitational wave. A Michelson interferometer operating between freely suspended masses is ideally suited to detect these antisymmetric distortions of space induced by the gravitational waves; the strains are converted into changes in light intensity and consequently to electrical signals via photodetectors.