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Published April 15, 1977 | public
Journal Article Open

Laboratory experiments to test relativistic gravity


Advancing technology will soon make possible a new class of gravitation experiments: pure laboratory experiments with laboratory sources of non-Newtonian gravity and laboratory detectors. This paper proposes seven such experiments; and for each one it describes, briefly, the dominant sources of noise and the technology required. Three experiments would utilize a high-Q torque balance as the detector. They include (i) an "Ampère-type" experiment to measure the gravitational spin-spin coupling of two rotating bodies, (ii) a search for time changes of the gravitation constant, and (iii) a measurement of the gravity produced by magnetic stresses and energy. Three experiments would utilize a high-Q dielectric crystal as the detector. They include (i) a "Faraday-type" experiment to measure the "electric-type" gravity produced by a time-changing flux of "magnetic-type" gravity, (ii) a search for "preferred-frame" and "preferred-orientation" effects in gravitational coupling, and (iii) a measurement of the gravitational field produced by protons moving in a storage ring at nearly the speed of light. One experiment would use a high-Q toroidal microwave cavity as detector to search for the dragging of inertial frames by a rotating body.

Additional Information

©1977 The American Physical Society. Received 3 January 1977. For helpful discussions we thank John Dick, David Douglass, Ronald Drever, Richard Feynman, and John Turneaure. This paper draws upon work which was supported in part by the Ministry of Higher Education, U.S.S.R., and upon work supported in part by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration under Contract No. NGR-05-002-256 and the National Science Foundation under Grant No. AST75-01398 A01. Worek supported in part bu a National Science Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship and a Feynman Fellowship.


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