JASON Study Debunks Gravitational Wave “Threat”

12.15.08 | 1 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

The elite JASON defense science advisory panel dismissed claims that high frequency gravitational waves (HFGW) could pose any kind of national security threat.

In a study (pdf) prepared for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the JASONs concluded that “No foreign threat in HFGW is credible, including: communication by means of HFGW; object detection or imaging (by HFGW radar or tomography); vehicle propulsion by HFGW; or any other practical use of HFGW.”

Gravitational waves were predicted by Einstein’s general theory of relativity and their existence has been indirectly confirmed by experiment.  But up to now they have never been directly measured.

“Unfortunately, relativity and gravitation theory have, over the last century, been the subject of a great deal of pseudo-science, in addition to real science. Therefore, in evaluating ambitious claims about gravitational applications, one must consider the possibility that the claims are misguided and wrong,” the JASONs advised.  “There is no substitute for seeking expert scientific and technical opinion in such matters.”

A copy of the new JASON report was obtained by Secrecy News.  See “High Frequency Gravitational Waves,” October 2008.

Update: Noah Shachtman has more here.