Gravitational waves were predicted by Albert Einstein nearly 100 years ago, and at the time it was realized that they had the potential to transmit energy as a form of gravitational radiation. Astronomers typically look for low frequency gravitational waves in stellar events, but Dr. Robert Baker Jr. believes that we can create high frequency gravitational waves here on earth in the laboratory. In this interview we discuss some initial applications for high frequency gravitational wave technology.
In terms of practical applications, high frequency gravitational waves could be even more important to future technology than Marconi’s development of the radio telegraph, and would almost guarantee a Nobel Prize for whoever accomplishes the first experiment. The basis for this technology involves creating ripples on the fabric of space-time, and has implications for everything from communications to transportation technology.
In terms of communications, high frequency gravitational waves open up a whole new range of spectrum for communications. Since the government currently regulates our electromagnetic spectrum and auctions off slices of it to telecommunications companies, having a high frequency gravitational wave spectrum would at least be profitable, but have advantages that the electromagnetic communications doesn’t have. That’s just the beginning: Baker has outlined a number of entry-level applications for high frequency gravitational waves:
“High-Frequency Gravitational Waves or HFGWs are ripples in the fabric of space-time whose wavelengths are small and whose frequencies are greater than 100 kHz. Einstein called this fabric the ‘space-time continuum’ in his 1915 theoretical work known as General Relativity (or GR). Although his theory is very sophisticated, the concept is relatively simple. If we can generate ripples in Einstein’s fabric of space-time, then many applications become available to us. Some examples include:
1. Multi-channel communications (both point to point and point to multipoint through all material things – the ultimate wireless system). One could communicate directly through the Earth from New York to Beijing, China without the need for fiber optic cables, microwave relays, or satellite transponders – antennas, cables, and phone lines would be things of the past!
2. A remote means for causing perturbations to the motion of objects such as missiles (anything from bullets to ICBMs), spacecraft, rogue comets or minor planets, land or water vehicles or craft – a totally new propulsion system!
3. Remote coalescing of clouds of hazardous vapors, radioactive dust, etc. by changing the gravitational field in their vicinity.
4. The potential for through-earth or through-water “X-rays” in order to observe subterranean structures, geological formations (such as oil deposits), create a transparent ocean, view three-dimensional building interiors, buried devices, etc.; and
5. The potential for remotely disrupting the gravitational field in a specific region of space and even producing nuclear reactions there!” – Dr. Robert Baker Jr.