Astrophysicists are interested in applying virtual reality and scientific visualization to spacetime simulations to help them better understand and interpret numerical studies of black holes, gravitational waves, and the Einstein equations for the gravitational fields.

Einstein’s theory of gravity, known as general relativity, is a complex set of nonlinear partial differential equations. We have developed full 3D codes to solve these equations for the gravitational field. The demonstration shows gravitational waves propagating through spacetime according to Einstein’s equations for the gravitational field. The waves are disturbances in the gravitational field that travel at the speed of light. The simulation computes the evolution of various components of the waves.

This application was a part of Experiential Science in The Virtual Reality Theater venue at Supercomputing ’93, and VROOM - the Virtual Reality Room event showcased at SIGGRAPH 94.