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View Full Version : Astrosphere for June 26, 2007



Fraser
2007-Jun-26, 03:55 PM
I'm running out of clever ways to introduce the astrosphere. Uh... here are some links?

Read the full blog entry (http://www.universetoday.com/2007/06/26/astrosphere-for-june-26-2007/)

Jerry
2007-Jun-27, 08:56 PM
Daily Galaxy is reporting that Einstein was right… again.


NASA’s Gravity Probe B Relativity Mission shot into space about 3 years ago, with only one goal—to quantify Einstein’s predictions from Earth’s orbit. Earlier this year, at the meeting of the American Physics Society, principal investigator Francis Everitt of delivered the first results: Gravity Probe B has verified Einstein’s theory.

Well, not exactly. If you read the information on the G-B probe website,

http://einstein.stanford.edu/

they observed unexpected systemic effects which are apparently masking the frame dragging effects in the data. They have determined possible causes for what appears to be a migrating Polhode moment; but before the launch the polhode moment were carefully characterized for each gyroscope, and it did not move.

So what is going on? It is possible they were not careful enough in the ground-based calibrations, but it is also possible there is a truly unexpected force creating the unexpected wobble observed during the data validation (space-based calibration checks). But with no ground-truthing, no one will know for certain: Two new families of parametric assumptions were necessary to drum-out the unexpected signal. Two independent parameters are two too many.



But was it worth it? The project cost $750 million and we all figured he was right beforehand. I mean, come on, it’s Einstein! At any rate, we now know for certain, and our near religious worship of the genius can continue undisturbed.

It disturbs me that even though there were, in the words of the G-B probe press release 'unexpected phenomena', the 'near religious worship' continues. For those of us anticipating departures from the expected results, this is another disappointment. There will always be unanswered questions: Why did the polhode moment, that was so stable on earth (and in theory), suddenly decide to get up and migrate in space? That is something Einstein did not predict. That is the new $750 million dollar question.