Epic Space-Time Experiment

NASA just announced something that should have been front page news.  Of course it wasn’t, at least here in Indy.  No, we got some crap about the Indianapolis 500, which is what we’ll probably get every day until the damn race (and a couple days afterwards.)  Can you tell I’m not a racing fan? 

http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2011/04may_epic/  We now have definitive proof that Einstein was right.

“Space-time vortex” sounds like something out of science-fiction, right?  I’m sure you’ve seen the demonstrations of how gravity works according to Einstein’s theory.  As the article explains, “Time and space, according to Einstein’s theories of relativity, are woven together, forming a four-dimensional fabric called “space-time.” The mass of Earth dimples this fabric, much like a heavy person sitting in the middle of a trampoline. Gravity, says Einstein, is simply the motion of objects following the curvaceous lines of the dimple.”  Since our planet spins, this causes a twist in the dimple.  Gravity Probe B was designed to measure that twist and see if it matched Einstein’s prediction.

It’s really not that difficult to understand, though apparently it has been extremely difficult to prove.  Scientists have been working on this for almost as long as I’ve been alive (in other words, a very long time.)  It required amazing precision.  The gyroscopes used in the experiment are the most perfect spheres ever created by man.  A scientist involved in the project said they had to invent 13 new technologies to perform the experiment.  Wow.

Kudos to everyone involved in this 47 year mission and of course to Einstein.

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