Skip navigation

Gravity Probe B

Testing Einstein's Universe

Special & General Relativity Questions and Answers

What studies have been made for gravity waves?


Here are three places you should visit.

LSU Gravity Wave Experiments

World-wide gravity research groups

The Laser Interferometer Gravity Wave Observatory

The search for gravity waves is a very active research area which began in the 1970 when Davis at the University of Maryland built the first gravity wave telescope; a 5 ton cylinder of aluminum which was monitored for slight deformations that would signal the passage of a gravity wave. Since then, this basic concept has been vastly improved upon using cryogenically- cooled bars and with LIGO, laser interferometry over a multi-kilometer scale. If the laser beams combine perfectly, there will be no interference, but if one leg of the interferometer is slightly shorter or longer than the other, then a slight interference will occur signaling the passage of a space- distorting gravity wave.

Return to the Special & General Relativity Questions and Answers page.

All answers are provided by Dr. Sten Odenwald (Raytheon STX) for the NASA Astronomy Cafe, part of the NASA Education and Public Outreach program.