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"And the stars are projectors, yeah, projecting our lives down to this planet Earth." - Modest Mouse


4.05.2004

Space-Time Frame-Dragging 

Wired notes that NASA & Stanford scientists are launching a test to verify the esoteric frame-dragging effect of Einstein's Theory of General Relativity.
He proposed in 1916 that space and time form a structure that can be curved by the presence of a body, like the Earth, warping it like the dimple created by the heft of bowling ball resting on a soft mattress. That distortion accounts for gravity.

Two years later, others suggested that the rotation of such a mass should drag space-time with it, twisting the structure of the fabric.

If theory holds, the mass and rotation of the Earth, 397 miles below the probe, should throw the alignment of the spinning balls off kilter in subtle but measurable ways.

The warping effect has been measured before. The twisting effect, called frame-dragging, has never been directly detected. Gravity Probe B aims to detect both.

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