Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Einstein does it again!
“One day this will be written up in textbooks as one of the classic experiments in the history of physics," says Clifford Will,
an expert on Einstein's theories and chairman of an independent panel set up by NASA for monitoring the results of "Gravity Probe B".

This satellite that began its journey in 1963, was finally launched in 2004 at an altitude of 400 miles above Earth equipped with 4 gyroscopes made from nearly perfect spheres. The quartz~silicon spheres are the most perfectly round objects ever made and you can read more about them in the Guinness Book of World Records. This probe was set out to prove that the gravity from Earth's rotation does in fact warp the space~time "fabric" into a vortex surrounding the planet. The bending of space and time is often explained as the effects of an object mass upon a trampoline.

Einstein had made the prediction in 1916 that space and time are woven like a "4th dimensional fabric" together we refer to as "spacetime". This theory explains gravity as the pathway of an object following this fabric. In the event that an object has extreme gravity, as do celestial bodies, time and space will actually be dimpled around the object. He predicted that we should find space & time warping around the edge of Earth's gravitational field, much like liquid swirling around a rapidly spinning ball submersed within it.

One reason this experiment took almost half a century to get underway is the probe had to be designed to evade any drag brought upon by Earth's gravity in order for the gyroscopes to remain unbiased. By positioning a gyroscope's axis at a fixed point (in this case the star Pegasi) any subtle deviations from their placement during orbit would be detectable data to prove this theory correct. The measurements' exactness has been compared to analyzing a sheet of paper's edge from 100 miles away. The measured "geodetic precession" or "spacetime depression" {dimple of space/time rippling around Earth's rotation} comes out to 6.600 arcseconds, plus or minus 0.017, and a frame-dragging effect of 0.039 arcseconds, plus or minus 0.007, with an arcsecond being 1/3600th of a degree.

This data is very crucial for our understanding for the physics of everything that holds mass within outer space. This aadditional dimension of mystery will help us to perceive what we may experience when entering into the time rippling vortex of another celestial body floating within this cosmic fabric we now know to be malleable pending upon the level of gravity influenced upon it. Clifford Will's comment that this is "an epic result" could possibly break a world record itself for understatements.


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