gravity wave

noun

Definition of gravity wave

1 : a wave in a fluid (such as the ocean or the atmosphere) which is propagated because of the tendency of gravity to maintain a uniform level or in which gravity is the restoring force

Examples of gravity wave in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Atmospheric gravity waves can be seen in satellite images taken by Australian weather forecast service Weatherzone on Monday and Tuesday. Maisy Mok, CNN, "Satellite captures rare images of atmospheric gravity waves," 24 Oct. 2019 Even when the objects generating a gravity wave are as massive as neutron stars or large black holes, the blip’s effects are tiny—a distortion a thousandth of the width of a proton over the course of a 4km-long detector arm. The Economist, "Gravitational astronomy proves its maturity," 20 Aug. 2019 The combination of the two was so powerful, that the equivalent of the mass of five Suns was turned into gravity waves — waves that reached Earth on July 29th. Mary Beth Griggs, The Verge, "Ancient black hole collision is the most massive researchers have ever observed," 3 Dec. 2018 Programmers have used Python to power innovation in everything from the detection of gravity waves (resulting in last year’s Nobel Prize in Physics) to reducing the cost of developing new drugs. Paul Romer, WSJ, "Government Can Do More to Support Science and Innovation," 20 Nov. 2018 If a perturbation were to jostle this fluid, a gravity wave would result. Matthew Cappucci, Washington Post, "Wicked cool wave clouds crash over Boston area," 6 Apr. 2018 The cloud ridge was located above a region of highlands called Aphrodite Terra and seemed to be a shockingly large atmospheric gravity wave—not unlike a stationary ripple above a rock in a flowing stream. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "Huge wave in Venus’ clouds changes the length of a day," 22 June 2018 This is because mountains provide the lift, wind shear and associated gravity waves needed to produce these unusual cloud formations. Kathryn Prociv, Washington Post, "Qui vivra verra! Two rare cloud types, lenticular and Kelvin-Helmholtz, hover over France.," 26 Jan. 2018 Today a host of sci-fi-worthy gizmos monitor the incessant deluge of cosmic particles as well as the intermittent quiver of gravity waves washing over our planet. Alan Hirshfeld, WSJ, "Review: A New Astronomy Through ‘The Telescope in the Ice’," 15 Dec. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gravity wave.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of gravity wave

1877, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of gravity wave was in 1877

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Last Updated

27 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Gravity wave.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gravity%20wave. Accessed 13 December 2019.

More from Merriam-Webster on gravity wave

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with gravity wave

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about gravity wave

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