The Gravity Probe B test of general relativity

C. W.F. Everitt, B. Muhlfelder, D. B. Debra, B. W. Parkinson, J. P. Turneaure, A. S. Silbergleit, E. B. Acworth, M. Adams, R. Adler, W. J. Bencze, J. E. Berberian, R. J. Bernier, K. A. Bower, R. W. Brumley, S. Buchman, K. Burns, B. Clarke, J. W. Conklin, M. L. Eglington, G. GreenG. Gutt, D. H. Gwo, G. Hanuschak, X. He, M. I. Heifetz, D. N. Hipkins, T. J. Holmes, R. A. Kahn, G. M. Keiser, J. A. Kozaczuk, T. Langenstein, J. Li, J. A. Lipa, J. M. Lockhart, M. Luo, I. Mandel, F. Marcelja, J. C. Mester, A. Ndili, Y. Ohshima, J. Overduin, M. Salomon, D. I. Santiago, P. Shestople, V. G. Solomonik, K. Stahl, M. Taber, R. A. Van Patten, S. Wang, J. R. Wade, P. W. Worden, N. Bartel, L. Herman, D. E. Lebach, M. Ratner, R. R. Ransom, I. I. Shapiro, H. Small, B. Stroozas, R. Geveden, J. H. Goebel, J. Horack, J. Kolodziejczak, A. J. Lyons, J. Olivier, P. Peters, M. Smith, W. Till, L. Wooten, W. Reeve, M. Anderson, N. R. Bennett, K. Burns, H. Dougherty, P. Dulgov, D. Frank, L. W. Huff, R. Katz, J. Kirschenbaum, G. Mason, D. Murray, R. Parmley, M. I. Ratner, G. Reynolds, P. Rittmuller, P. F. Schweiger, S. Shehata, K. Triebes, J. VandenBeukel, R. Vassar, T. Al-Saud, A. Al-Jadaan, H. Al-Jibreen, M. Al-Meshari, B. Al-Suwaidan

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Abstract

The Gravity Probe B mission provided two new quantitative tests of Einstein's theory of gravity, general relativity (GR), by cryogenic gyroscopes in Earth's orbit. Data from four gyroscopes gave a geodetic drift-rate of -6601.8 ±18.3 marc-s yr-1 and a frame-dragging of -37.2 ±7.2 marc-s yr-1, to be compared with GR predictions of -6606.1 and -39.2 marc-s yr-1 (1 marc-s = 4.848 ×10-9 radians). The present paper introduces the science, engineering, data analysis, and heritage of Gravity Probe B, detailed in the accompanying 20 CQG papers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number224001
Pages (from-to)1-29
Number of pages29
JournalClassical and Quantum Gravity
Volume32
Issue number22
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Nov 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • cryogenic
  • frame-dragging
  • general relativity
  • geodetic
  • Gravity Probe B
  • gyroscope
  • space

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