Gravitational Radiation

Very weak wave-like disturbances in the geometry of space and time produced by an accelerating, oscillating or violently disturbed mass, or system of masses. The resulting gravitational radiation (or gravitational waves) waves ripple outwards through space, traveling at the speed of light. Gravitational waves vibrate in a plane perpendicular to the direction in which it is propagating. As they pass through a solid body, they will stretch it first along one direction (while compressing it at right angles to this direction) and then, similarly, in the plane perpendicular to this direction. There is strong indirect observational evidence that gravitational waves follow the predictions of General Relativity. Their weakness has made them undetectable by present instruments. The electromagnetic force between a hydrogen atom’s electron and proton is 2 x 1039 times stronger than their mutual gravitational attraction!

Some or all content above used with permission from J. H. Wittke.

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