Testing Einstein's theory of general relativity

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by sky_pink, May 8, 2004.

  1. sky_pink

    sky_pink er... what's the time?

    A satellite that will put Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity to the test has been launched successfully into space. (..) It will carry four near-perfect spheres in gyroscopes to help verify two key elements of Einstein's theory. The probe will align itself with its "guide star" IM Pegasi, so that the spin axes of the spheres point to this star. Over the course of the year their spin axes will be monitored for tiny changes that could be caused by the effects Einstein described. (See the whole article here.)

    Fascinating. I'm eagerly awaiting the results - after all, the most important scientific theories tend to undergo significant changes every hundred years or so...

    Has any of you heard anything more about this experiment?

  2. Flowerian

    Flowerian Senior Member

    I read an article about it in the German PM Magazine lately... I can scan and upload it if you're interested (and if I find it ;))
  3. sky_pink

    sky_pink er... what's the time?

    Sounds good, except for the part that says it's in German... :D The only thing I can say in German is that I'm a stranger and don't speak German well. An understatement.
  4. Rockstock2004

    Rockstock2004 Member

    Heard of this satellite. In fact I followed it with my telescope as it launched 200 miles away at Vandenberg Air Force Base. I said Farewell to it, since been a fan in relativity for quite some time, and all the things we don't know about that will come into place in the near future. Great post.:cool:
  5. fractalated

    fractalated Member

    hey yeah - great stuff! test that bitch!

    i know they have confirmed aspects of his theory in the past - like with mercury's position and the clocks in the planes i guess this is the final stage!

    incidently maybe someone can tell me - i've always wondered how einstien can justify his posulate that light always travels at the same speed - surely this is an absolutist determination of velocity which is exactly what his theory is oriented against??!?!!?
  6. earthy44

    earthy44 Member

    COOL! I will follow the story to see the results, probably will be a long time.;)
  7. Fractual_

    Fractual_ cosmos factory

    could someone break it down nice and simple for me how this relates to relativity???
  8. sky_pink

    sky_pink er... what's the time?

    Well, I can't give you the math, but it has to do with space and time being relative. Anyway, it has been tested - just look up Michelson-Morley experiment.
  9. Eugene

    Eugene Senior Member

    through observation and testing we now know that light travels at a constant 300,000 km/s through a vacuum and everything else just changes. Basically, he states that since the rate of something (r=t/d, this case r=speed of light) must remain constant that Time and Distance must change. By putting the gyroscopes at different places on a plaine we hopefully will be able to judge whether or not their "time" is the same, I guess.
  10. Flowerian

    Flowerian Senior Member

    Well, that's your problem :D If you were Einstein you'd understand it :D
  11. sky_pink

    sky_pink er... what's the time?

    Hehehe, too true! :D :D
  12. Actually light does not always travel at the same speed. In a vacuum it travels at a constant, c. In denser materials light travels slower. 300,000 km/sec is just the cosmic speed limit. Lenses and prisms bend light at different wavelengths by different amounts determined by the speed at which they move through the material (refraction). Many minerals have different densities in different directions through their lattices and will split or shift light by set amounts.

    Optical grade calcite crystals do this especially well and will split images as they are rotated over them.
  13. sky_pink

    sky_pink er... what's the time?

    Yes, but two independetn persons can still arrive at the same conclusion when having taken all that in consideration. That's the point. That it can be regarded as absolute.
  14. UFO

    UFO Banned

    The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious, it is the source of all true art and science. (Albert Einstein)
  15. sky_pink

    sky_pink er... what's the time?

    Naturally, else The X-Files wouldn't have been so popular!

    Jk, I love Einstein!
  16. magicmonkey

    magicmonkey Member

    strangely enough light has no constant velocity, using super heated gasses a group of american scientists managed to slow down and stop a beam of light in 2002, hows that for wierd!


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