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On the "Speed of Gravity"

Tom Van Flandern
Year: 1993
Keywords: force of gravity, speed of light, gravity waves
The question is often asked, "At what speed does the force of gravity propagate?" To answer this question properly, one must first define terms to insure that the question is well-formed. The quick answer one invariably hears to the question above is "at (or near) the speed of light". But this answer is incorrect. This false but widespread impression has taken hold because there is a hypothetical phenomenon called "gravity waves" which, if they exist, are expected to propagate at or near the speed of light. But gravity waves are not a factor in the question as posed; and may not exist at all. This paper examines why.