Posted in Blog Archive

Posted by abeodbart February 28, 2010 at 12:36 pm

According to Einstein’s theory of general relativity, a moving mass should create another field, called gravitomagnetic field, besides its static gravitational field. This field has now been measured for the first time and to the scientists’ astonishment, it proved to be no less than one hundred million trillion times larger than Einstein’s General Relativity predicts.

This gravitomagnetic field is similar to the magnetic field produced by a moving electric charge (hence the name “gravitomagnetic” analogous to “electromagnetic”). For example, the electric charges moving in a coil produce a magnetic field – such a coil behaves like a magnet. Similarly, the gravitomagnetic field can be produced to be a mass moving in a circle. What the electric charge is for electromagnetism, mass is for gravitation theory (the general theory of relativity).

“We ran more than 250 experiments, improved the facility over 3 years and discussed the validity of the results for 8 months before making this announcement. Now we are confident about the measurement,” says Tajmar. They hope other physicists will now conduct their own versions of the experiment so they could be absolutely certain that they have really measured the gravitomagnetic field and not something else. This may be the first empiric clue for how to merge together quantum mechanics and general theory of relativity in a single unified theory.

Full Article at Softpedia

February 28, 2010 at 1:04 pm
Nick says:

The Softpedia article you quote is almost four years old. Any news on whether this result has been replicated by other teams?

February 28, 2010 at 3:51 pm
Jonathan says:

A few things to note here. First the article you link to is four years old and the results have, as far as I’m aware, not been replicated. The paper discussing this issue (if I have found the correct one doesn’t seem to have been published in a refereed journal which doesn’t reflect well on its quality.

There is another issue. We are well aware that general relativity is not the full story. It is not compatible with quantum mechanics. The current most promising idea is that the full theory is string theory, which at low energies simply reproduces the predictions from general relativity, but at very high energies, when quantum mechanics becomes important, the theory is better behaved than GR.

February 28, 2010 at 5:18 pm
Gabby says:

It looks like this article is from 2006.
Anybody got an update?

February 28, 2010 at 7:07 pm
Ms G says:

Wrong but still focussing on the theory and building further from there, with mistakes. All about techniques and newborn psyches.

The coil and electric charge … interesting that it then becomes magnetic . from logic reasoning you’d say it pushes everything away. Logic from not knowing anything about it yet that is. Hm … yeah, yeah . I was hanging in the coil twirling without electric charge .. Ah, . . Oops, keyboard fails, wont type .. slightly light headed … I must be in the wrong state of mind .. not charged enough with electricity I guess (now that I type this it works fine again .. I swichted state .. ).

Einstein .. if only he had seen forward a bit …

March 1, 2010 at 12:56 pm
gammidgy says:

Is this a record for Derren’s blog? I’m used to seeing news items here several days after other blogs have picked them up, but four years!?

Fascinating subject though. What the Softpedia article didn’t say was that it derived from a presentation by the scientists at a one-day ESA conference, i.e. not from a published paper. Such conferences are a notoriously unreliable source of science news. Scientists often give presentations on very speculative ideas and initial, unconfirmed experimental data. I haven’t yet been able to work out if these experimenters ever published their peer-reviewed results. Can anyone help?

March 1, 2010 at 4:00 pm
Boris says:

I’m really beginning to doubt the skeptic nature of Mr Brown when I read articles like this. He should leave new age bullshit for a while and do some projects with bullshit scientists and their “evidence” and incredible speculations.

– You’re skeptical about Derren’s skepticism..? hmm… not come across this one. Well if you think the European Space Agency researches “bullshit science” feel free to contact them. – Phillis

March 9, 2010 at 2:17 am

Three unfounded beliefs:

– the latest research is the best
– if it’s not in a refereed journal it isn’t true
– if it is, it is


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