Physics Van 3-site Navigational Menu

Physics Van Navigational Menu

Q & A: Do gravitational waves undergo scattering?

Learn more physics!

Most recent answer: 02/26/2016
Q:
Do Gravitational waves Under go Scattering or reflection of sort like other waves? And Can they be used In the detection of life outside Earth?
- Sandra (age 16)
Alpy,Kerala,India
A:

Hi Sandra,

In principle they can undergo scattering off of massive objects just like electro-magnetic waves scatter off of charged particles.  Unfortunately, the effect is very, very, very weak.     It is difficult enough just to see two black holes collide and merge.   Any fine details such as scattering are undetectable with current, and probably future detectors.  

LeeH


(published on 02/26/2016)

Follow-up on this answer.