Home > Conscious > Chapter 8 > 8.3. Gravitational Waves

 

A gravitational (GR) wave is the dynamic change of the GR fields, or in Einstein's view, the variation in space-time's curvature. It can be imagined as "ripples in an empty space" (Figure 8-4), analogous to ripples of water when you jump into a swimming pool. Like the electromagnetic (EM) wave, a free GR wave propagates at the speed of light.

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Figure 8-4. The gravitational wave can be imagined as "ripples in an empty space". [Source: NASA]

Similar to EM waves which are generated by the acceleration of electric charges, the GR wave will be generated whenever a mass is accelerated. If you move your hand back and forth, you will generate a GR wave. Seismic activities can also produce GR waves. However, these GR waves cannot be detected by current technology, due to their extremely weak interaction with matter. The term "matter" refers to anything with mass even at rest. Both EM and GR waves are not considered as matter, because they do not have resting mass. As discussed in Section 8.5, GR waves do have significant interaction among themselves.

GR waves can be generated by neuronal activity which is associated with the motion of ions passing through ion channels. Before ions enter the ion channels, they move slowly and randomly in the solution. When a neuron fires, a large number of ions will be passing through the channels, with acceleration driven by the electrochemical force. The accelerated motion will generate GR waves (Figure 8-5), whose frequency is estimated to be about 10 MHz (Appendix A). Incidentally, high frequency is a requirement for the creation of a gravitational geon (Anderson and Brill, 1997).

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Figure 8-5. The ions passing through ion channels may radiate spherical GR waves. [Source: Wikipedia]