General Relativity Einstein/Essen Anniversary Test

Posted on June 25, 2009  Comments (2)

batteries for the cesium clocksphoto of the batteries for the cesium clocks in the family van by Tom Van Baak

Project GREAT: General Relativity Einstein/Essen Anniversary Test is not your average home experiment but it is another great example of experiments people run at home.

In September 2005 (for the 50th anniversary of the atomic clock and 100th anniversary of the theory of relativity) we took several cesium clocks on a road trip to Mt Rainier; a family science experiment unlike anything you’ve seen before.

By keeping the clocks at altitude for a weekend we were able to detect and measure the effects of relativistic time dilation compared to atomic clocks we left at home. The amazing thing is that the experiment worked! The predicted and measured effect was just over 20 nanoseconds.

But the time dilation was somewhere in the 20 to 30 ns range. The number we expected was 23 ns so I’m very pleased with the result.

Related: Home Experiments: Quantum ErasingScience Toys You Can Make With Your KidsHome Experiment: Deriving the Gravitational ConstantStatistics for Experimenters

2 Responses to “General Relativity Einstein/Essen Anniversary Test”

  1. Anonymous
    July 7th, 2009 @ 2:46 pm

    While reading this, I’m listening to an audiobook of Cormac McCarthy’s book and the entire time I listen to it reminds me of the relativity of time Einstein has proposed. It’s been a long while since people actually made an effort to make Einstein remembered and it’s great to know you people are still doing this.

  2. Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog » Experimenting Social Network
    August 29th, 2009 @ 8:19 am

    […] posts about experimenting – General Relativity Einstein/Essen Anniversary Test – Curious Cat StumbleUpon – Home Experiment: Deriving the Gravitational Constant – Dell, Reddit and […]

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