View Full Version : Gravity Waves: Graviton Flux Oscillation or SpaceTime Compression/Rarefication?

2010-Jun-09, 01:33 PM
If a gravity wave passes through a cubic X *(insert any distance here) of space, what happens? Is it that there is an variation in the flux of gravitons from the source, or is it that space-time itself is compressed and rarefied like a sound wave in air?
In either event how would an observer experience the gravity wave in terms of space and time?

(The question assumes the existence of gravitons to be correct and real according to the Standard Model).

2010-Jun-09, 06:46 PM
Therein lies the issue... Gravity waves are a prediction of General Relativity, which doesn't use gravitons. The Standard Model doesn't really say anything about gravity waves and so on. So you have to assume that as far as we know it is 2) - space time is what is being affected. There must (we hope) be some equivalent description in terms of a quantum field which is mediated by gravitons but AIUI a field is not like a flux of carrier particles. So it will not be 1).

As for what they'd be like - grep Weber bar, MiniGRAIL or one of the other gravity wave detectors. Things would change very slightly in spatial extent. They'd stretch/compress along with space. TIme would flex along with it, I guess, but not so sure about that.