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Largest scientific instrument ever built to prove Einstein's theory of general relativity

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posted on May, 11 2010 @ 08:37 AM
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Three spacecraft flying three million miles apart are to fire laser beams at each other across the emptiness of space in a bid to finally prove whether a theory proposed by Albert Einstein is correct.




Physicists hope the ambitious mission will allow them to prove the existence of gravitational waves – a phenomenon predicted in Einstein's famous theory of general relativity and the last piece of his theory still to be proved correct. The mission, a collaboration between Nasa and the European Space Agency, will use three spacecraft flying in formation while orbiting the sun, with each housing floating cubes of gold platinum.

Laser beams fired between the spacecraft will then be used to measure minute changes in the distance between each of the cubes, caused by the weak waves of gravity that ripple out from catastrophic events in deep space. Einstein's theory of general relativity predicted that when large objects such as black holes collide, ripples in space and time flow outwards. These ripples are called gravitational waves.

Professor Jim Hough, an expert on gravitational waves at Glasgow University and a member of the committee that drew up the plans, said: "Gravitational waves are the last piece of Einstein's theory of general relativity that has still to be proved correct. "They are produced when massive objects like black holes or collapsed stars accelerate through space, perhaps because they being pulled towards another object with greater gravitational pull like a massive black hole.

Scientists have already been able to prove a number of predictions made by Einstein's theory of general relativity, including that light is bent by gravity, gravity travels at a constant speed, that time can be warped by gravity and that space and time can bend. Einstein's other theories including his most famous formula E=mc2 have also withstood scientific testing.



The Laser Interferometer Space Antenna, or LISA as the new space based mission is called, will be able to detect gravitational waves of very low frequencies due to the huge distance between the three spacecraft. It will be the largest detector ever built. A smaller test mission called LISA Pathfinder, which is being built by British engineers at space company Astrium EADS and is due to be launched next year, is to pave the way for the more ambitious mission by demonstrating the technology to be used to detect the waves.


Source: www.telegraph.co.uk...

A truly interesting article. Especially for a noob. I sure hope their planned experiment works but I think that is a little too much to try. Any experts care to chime in on this one?

I did find that there have been 3 thread related to the LISA program but not related to this topic area. I put them here for anyones reference.

Great video on Quantum Physics and ET life by Dr Michio Kaku,
www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread289188/pg1

Multiverse- Simple explanation, page 14 posts - 2 authors
www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread422456/pg1

9/11 - The American Continent as Monolithic Grimoire of the
www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread457125/pg1/




posted on May, 11 2010 @ 09:13 AM
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S & F!!
Thanks for posting this, very interesting.

I'm going to make a prediction. I predict that once again....
EINSTEIN WAS RIGHT!!
This man simply amazes me.
It all began with a thought experiment that was inspired by watching a worker on the roof and imagining him in free fall. How did he just know these things that have taken 50 years or more to prove correct?
Sheer genius, that's how!!




I want to know how God created this world. I'm not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know His thoughts, the rest are details.

en.wikiquote.org...



posted on May, 11 2010 @ 09:59 AM
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reply to post by sickofitall2012
 



It almost makes me wonder if God (or whatever else someone wishes to call it) was either guiding his mind to discover these things-to point us in the right direction etc. Or he was lead to all of it-somehow.

You nailed it with saying He was Right! But HOW? How could he have done it? Just boggles the mind.

I am glad you like the thread.


[edit on 5/11/2010 by anon72]



posted on May, 11 2010 @ 03:15 PM
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Come on now. I know someone out there knows some good
info on this project.

Where are the Einstein likers?



posted on May, 11 2010 @ 03:26 PM
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They're not trying to prove Einstein's theory. Their aim is to disprove (null hypothesis) and at worst they'll confirm the theory stands this particular test (H1)..



posted on May, 11 2010 @ 03:38 PM
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Einstein is wrong.
Lorentz is right.



posted on May, 11 2010 @ 03:44 PM
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reply to post by rhinoceros
 

I'm not sure the gravity wave theory is falsifiable, being a transient phenomenon. But this experiment is actually designed to detect the waves, not to show that they do not exist.

I think it has a good chance of succeeding.



posted on May, 11 2010 @ 03:48 PM
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How about designing a machine that can prove the theory of moral relativity?



posted on May, 11 2010 @ 04:28 PM
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reply to post by Phage
 

Null hypothesis is at the heart of every scientific experiment. Obviously the experiment is designed so that null hypothesis can be rejected, but that is never the aim of any experiment in the sense that they're trying to prove something else (hypotheses H1, H2, .., Hn).

What goes for gravitational waves. I'm not a physicist, but wikipedia says that general relativity predicts their existence. Apparently they've been already shown to exist (indirectly).


en.wikipedia.org...]
The orbit has decayed since the binary system was initially discovered, in precise agreement with the loss of energy due to gravitational waves predicted by Einstein's General Theory of Relativity.


Apparently their direct measurement requires insanely precise devices (this experiment).

[edit on 11-5-2010 by rhinoceros]



posted on May, 11 2010 @ 05:00 PM
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reply to post by rhinoceros
 

A null hypothesis applies to theories for which a falsifiable experiment can be performed. The theory is that gravity waves exist. The null hypothesis is that gravity waves do not exist.

By detecting gravity waves it can be demonstrated that they exist, it only takes one detection to prove the theory true and the null hypothesis false.

But it may not be true (I don't know) that the failure to detect gravity waves with LISA would prove that they do not exist. Gravity waves have not been detected by other methods. This does not mean they do not exist, or else the search would not continue.

This experiment is not a test of the null hypothesis. It is a test of the base hypothesis, that gravity waves exist and are detectable with LISA.

[edit on 5/11/2010 by Phage]



posted on May, 11 2010 @ 05:12 PM
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Originally posted by Phage
reply to post by rhinoceros
 

A null hypothesis applies to theories for which a falsifiable experiment can be performed. The theory is that gravity waves exist. The null hypothesis is that gravity waves do not exist.

By detecting gravity waves it can be demonstrated that they exist, it only takes one detection to prove the theory true and the null hypothesis false.

But it may not be true (I don't know) that the failure to detect gravity waves with LISA would prove that they do not exist. Gravity waves have not been detected by other methods. This does not mean they do not exist, or else the search would not continue.

This experiment is not a test of the null hypothesis. It is a test of the base hypothesis, that gravity waves exist and are detectable with LISA.

[edit on 5/11/2010 by Phage]


Wow, good response...

I don't really have much to add, other than a simple thank-you for your posts. You always seem to spew knowledge all over the place, and when possible, i slurp some up. Just know that your posts are very appreciated across the ATS community.



posted on May, 11 2010 @ 06:00 PM
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reply to post by Phage
 

Null Hypothesis: Gravitational waves do not exist as predicted by general relativity.

Hypothesis 1: Gravitational waves exist as predicted by general relativity.

So.

If Null hypothesis stands then general relativity needs to be modified and or premises of experiment looked into more deeply because:

Hypothesis 2: Gravitational waves exist as predicted by general relativity, but we fail to detect them.

However if Null hypothesis can be rejected it doesn't automatically mean that H1 stands because:

Hypothesis 3: Gravitational waves exist as predicted by general relativity, but something else is in fact happening.


..

And my opinion. Since gravitational waves have already been detected indirectly and smarter people than us are doing the math concerning this experiment, it'll result in rejection of Null hypothesis of this particular experiment. However the same Null hypothesis can be reintroduced into another experiment (maybe to rule out H3). And round we go again and again.

[edit on 12-5-2010 by rhinoceros]



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