It seems we have a musical theme going for this first week of December. Yesterday it was Cher and If I Could Turn Back Time. Today it is the Beach Boys and Catch a Wave. By inductive reasoning, this establishes a definite correlation between science and music.
Wikipedia tells that a gravitational wave is a fluctuation in the curvature of spacetime that propagates as wave. These waves transport gravitational energy. Mmm. Remember that gravity is really a bending of spacetime by a massive object. (I know, I have difficulty not thinking of gravity as a force.) So if a massive object moves around, it is going to change the curvature of spacetime. But those effects are going to be carried through space in a wave, much like the initial impact of a pebble in a pond ripples to the edge. As you might speculate, gravitational waves propagate at the speed of light, resembling an electromagnetic wave.
Tuning an 'Ear' to the Music of Gravitational Waves tells that NASA is attempting to detect gravitational waves for the first time.
NASA explains it as: "The proposed mission would amount to a giant triangle of three distinct spacecraft, each connected by laser beams. These spacecraft would fly in formation around the sun, about 20 degrees behind Earth. Each one would hold a cube made of platinum and gold that floats freely in space. As gravitational waves pass by the spacecraft, they would cause the distance between the cubes, or test masses, to change by almost imperceptible amounts."
The trick is to detect changes in the light beams exchanged between the satellites. Lasers by themselves are too noisy for such measurements, so the NASA researchers have invented signal processing techniques to reduce the phase noise of the lasers so they are sensitive enough to measure the gravitational waves.
Sounds like a cool science project, doesn't it? (I mean that in a good way.) Laser Interferometer Space Antenna, or (LISA) is a proposed NASA - European Space Agency project, competing for dwindling research dollars from both sides of the Atlantic.