From: Stig_Agermose@online.pol.dk (Stig Agermose)

Einstein Right Again - A Spinning Mass Curves Time And Space

>From Fox News. URL:

http://www.foxnews.com/etcetera/wires/0327/e_rt_0327_4.sml

*******

Einstein is proved right yet again

11:09 a.m. ET (1610 GMT) March 27, 1998

WASHINGTON - Einstein has been proved right yet again, an international
team of researchers say.

They said Thursday that observations of U.S. satellites orbiting Earth
showed that a spinning body can curve space - something Albert Einstein
predicted in his general theory of relativity.

Einstein said the spin of a body must change the geometry of the
universe by generating space-time curvature.

He called it "frame dragging" but it is also known as the
Lense-Thirring effect, after Austrian physicists Josef Lense and Hans
Thirring, who said celestial bodies that rotate, such as the Sun,
create a force that pulls space towards them.

The effect is so strong it should affect a clock rotating slowly around
a spinning body.

Ignazio Ciufolini of the Universita di Roma "La Sapienza" and
colleagues tested and measured the effect by analyzing the orbits of
two NASA satellites, LAGEOS and LAGEOSII.

They used lasers to measure tiny changes in the orbits of the
satellites and concluded the Earth was affecting them in a way that
could not be accounted for by gravity or tidal forces.

"Based on the analysis of the orbits of the ... satellites LAGEOS and
LAGEOS II, we conclude that the Lense-Thirring effect exists," they
wrote in a report in the journal Science.

"This direct measurement of the Lense-Thirring effect confirms one of
the remaining fundamental predictions of general relativity, that a
current of mass-energy, such as a spinning mass, as a result of its
mass motion changes the geometry of the universe by generating
space-time curvature."




March, 1998


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