Fritschel, Peter K. Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Last reviewed:August 2018
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- Resonant-mass detectors
- Free-mass detectors
- Detectors in space
- Monitoring pulsar signals
- Interferometry in space
- Cosmic background measurements
- Gravitational-wave astronomy
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
A wave that is generated by the acceleration of mass and travels at the speed of light. Gravitational waves, which transport energy as gravitational radiation (Fig. 1), are an implicit outcome of the special theory of relativity and were explicitly put forward in Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity in 1916. Einstein showed that the acceleration of masses generates time-dependent gravitational fields that can carry energy away from their source at the speed of light. See also: Acceleration; Energy; Gravitation; Light; Mass; Observation of gravitational waves; Relativity
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