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gravitational wave

noun, Astronomy, Physics.
1.
(in general relativity) a propagating wave of gravitational energy produced by accelerating masses, especially during catastrophic events, as the gravitational collapse of massive stars.
Also called gravity wave.
Origin
1895-1900
1895-1900
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for gravitational wave
  • Tom suggested that it was a gravitational wave detector.
  • While the first bar is squeezed by a gravitational wave, the second will be stretched.
  • It's a fantastic book and still quite timely with gravitational wave astronomy finally becoming a reality.
  • The fundamentally new science of gravitational wave astronomy opens up a new window on the universe.
  • In addition, gravitational wave detectors will be involved.
British Dictionary definitions for gravitational wave

gravitational wave

noun
1.
(physics) another name for gravity wave
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Encyclopedia Article for gravitational wave

gravitational radiation

the transmission of variations in the gravitational field as waves. According to general relativity, the curvature of space-time is determined by the distribution of masses, while the motion of masses is determined by the curvature. In consequence, variations of the gravitational field should be transmitted from place to place as waves, just as variations of an electromagnetic field travel as waves. If the masses that are the source of a field change with time, they should radiate energy as waves of curvature of the field

Learn more about gravitational radiation with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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