A gravitational wave is a hard concept to wrap one’s head around, especially for someone who is not a trained physicist. I am definitely not a physicist, but I will attempt to explain. Gravitational waves are caused by massive interstellar events or a unique situation where multiple black holes orbit each other. For example, when a star reaches the end of its life cycle and goes through a supernova, that massive explosion emits gravitational waves. Supernovas are so violent that they cause a “ripple” throughout space, that ripple is a gravitational wave. The gravitational waves that LIGO detected came from a system with binary blackholes. Blackholes are very massive celestial objects, so if there were two orbiting each other it’s not surprising that there would be some ripples in space.
LIGO detected gravitational waves, and that has some implications on the future of communication technology. So, gravitational waves aren’t stopped by solid matter, which means they could be sent through the planet. If gravitational waves could be harnessed in the realm of communications then messages could be sent instantaneously. Scientists would first have to find a way to produce gravitational waves, but I believe they can. We may think that communication is fast right now with the satellite based system we have, but it could be drastically better. This advancement will happen! Why? Because, the military is invested in gravitational wave technology. The implications of instantaneous communications could give the American military an amazing advantage.
This is not the first time that America has been the first through the door with a technological advancement. American scientists developed the Landsat satellite, which provided and still provides high resolution global imagery. This global imagery was advertised as life-changing for America and the rest of the world, especially in the world of conservation. What did that advancement get used for? Landsat was used to scout out new natural resource deposits. These deposits were mostly found in the Third World, and the exploitation of those resources went straight into the pockets of dictators and oligarchs who led those countries. So, it has been demonstrated that technological advancements can end up in the hands of some very bad people. Which is why I am very worried about the misuse of gravitational wave technology.