Gravity may just be able to produce photons and light all on its own, study suggests

It all has to do with resonance.
Loukia Papadopoulos
Gravity essentially came to be light.
Gravity essentially came to be light.


A new paper is revealing that gravity may just be able to create light all on its own. It all has to do with gravitational waves, often referred to as ripples in spacetime, that radiate through the universe and carry the effects of gravity out and away from their generating bodies. 

The most prominent of these come from cataclysmic events like black hole mergers and supernovae and according to a new study they are strong enough that they can spontaneously generate light.

It all has to do with resonance, the authors argue, which can allow a wave or motion to build and build and build on itself until it achieves parametric resonance. This is what led to the creation of light, as per LiveScience.

To test this theory, the researchers explored the conditions that saw the creation of the extremely early universe. At that time, all forms of matter and energy were ramped up to unimaginable scales.

This made the gravitational waves of that time much stronger, and that could have significantly influenced everything else that was happening.

Just like a swing

Those early waves would have moved back and forth taking everything else in the universe with them in this swing-like motion. The push and pull of the waves would have led to the previously mentioned resonance effect. 

The best explanation is to use the analogy of someone on a swing pumping their legs at just the right time to send a swing higher and higher. As the waves continued to pump forward and backward, they were able to drive radiation in the universe to extremely high energies, resulting in the spontaneous creation of photons.

This is how gravity essentially came to be light.

The process is not yet fully understood by physicists but it does offer one viable theory of how light could have first come to be. Additional studies on the matter may shed more light (pun intended) on the matter and bring forth more conclusive evidence that gravity may indeed have the capacity to generate photons.

The study was published last month in the preprint database arXiv.

Study abstract:

We study the parametric resonance excitation of the electromagnetic field by a gravitational wave. We show that there is narrow band resonance. For an electromagnetic field in the vacuum the resonance occurs only in the second band, and its strength is thus suppressed by two powers of amplitude of the gravitational wave. On the other hand, in the case of an electromagnetic field in a medium with the speed of light smaller than 1 (in natural units), there is a band of Fourier modes which undergo resonance in the first band.

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