Originally posted by mtthw
No, probably not.
Unless you mean this sort of gravity wave: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravity_wave, which would be the case in a stratified atmosphere.
If the material used in the capacitors and wires were both superconducting, it looks to me like there would be no losses so the oscillation would go on forever. How would you calculate the time constant if there were no losses? The regular formula is RC which is Resistance in ohms and C capacitance in farads. If Either R or C is zero then the time constant according to that simple formula would also be zero.
Therefore that formula must be modified to account for superconductivity. My guess is the actual frequency would be the product of the actual size of the system, shorter wires=quicker electron flow and faster response, if electrons flow at C in a superconductor, then it would look like one nanosecond per foot so it would be 1000 Mhz if the wires were half that, 6 inches leading to a path length of one foot, 6 inches coming, 6 inches going. It must be something like that, eh.
One loss venue would be RF radiation. If the path length was 6 inches, and that leads to a frequency of 1000 mhz(1 gigahertz) which is just my finger in the air estimate, then the wires might be close in length to a 1 ghz antenna. A dipole at that frequency at least for normal wires is about 7 cm long, 70 mm, so 6 inches would be about twice the length of an antenna at that frequency. This would be an antenna out of resonance and therefore not a perfect radiator but still would represent some loss in the form of RF radiation from the original energy given to the system, so it would be another path to dampen the oscillation. The exact amount I cannot be sure of but it looks like it would radiate some if steps were not taken to reduce that loss.
There is a almost lossless means of transmission where the two conductors are parallel at a certain distance, which relates to the impedance of the line, the size of the wire V the distance between them. Amateur radio operators use among other things, a transmission line called 'ladder line', two main varieties, 450 ohm impedance, wire separated by about 20 mm, and 600 ohm impedance, wires separated by about 100 mm.
In either case the transmission line radiation is very low, not perfect of course but it would greatly reduce EM radiation from the wires. The plates of the cap would still radiate I would think so there would still be some radiation from the system unless it was in a 1000 mhz resonator designed to suppress radiation from the whole system. It would be an interesting experiment if we could get our hands on real superconductors. I contacted American Superconductor about a project I wished to pursue using superconducting wire to study superconducting antennae but they thought the project too mundane to sell me any.
I thought a superconducting antenna would give a real benefit for radio communications by being itself an extremely narrow bandwidth system. The Q of an antenna is the impedence divided by the wire resistance, Rxl/R so if R approaches zero, the Q of the antenna goes way way up and I wanted to find out just what the Q would be, it looked to me like it would reduce total system noise, allowing communications with much less actual transmitter power. I am waiting till superconductors become widely available to actually perform that experiment.