Gravitational Waves in the Spacetime Continuum / Single Project

Media Details

Media ID: SYM0106
Client: Technical
Created on: 2004-05-13
Published on: 2004-05-13
Dimensions: 1000 x 2000 pixels

Type: Illustration

Audiences: Technical, Scientific

Keywords: astrophysics, waves, spacetime, continuum, ripples, gravity, black holes, supernova, science, physics, observation

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  • Gravitational Waves in the Spacetime Continuum


No, this is not Star Trek! This is really a theory on which active work is being pursued by astrophysicists. The existence of curved spacetime opens up the possibility that ripples (or gravitational waves) can exist in the spacetime continuum. Methods of detecting these could be from the observation of colliding black holes, supernova explosions and the black hole at the core of our Galaxy.

This image illustrates the release of gravity waves, as the result of a supernova explosion. The origin of the waves is at the wave-point. The waves actually travel in three dimensions but are represented here in two dimensions. The magnifying glass suggests the power of observation by scientists to reveal such gravity waves.

In reality, since these waves represent oscillations in the force of gravity, one could conceive of using lasers (strapped to masses) to measure the effect of the waves on the masses (search LIGO in google....).

An animation is available upon request.


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