16_grtest - UCSD Physics 10 UCSD Physics 10 There is a big...

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Unformatted text preview: UCSD Physics 10 UCSD Physics 10 There is a big difference between the Newtonian and the Relativistic frameworks: Newtonian: Rigid flat geometry, universal clocks Gravitational force between objects "Magic" dependence on mass "Natural" reference frames are in free fall Relativistic: Objects interact with distorted spacetime UCSD Physics 10 Is There a Real (i.e. measurable) Distinction between General Relativity and the Newtonian Viewpoint? Absolutely! Discriminating among different contending theories is one of the tasks of experimental physics. Probing the basic foundations of gravity continues to be a forefront issue Was Einstein Right by Clifford Will is a nice reference for this topic... UCSD Physics 10 The Scientific Method at Work Newtonian world view was challenged by GR Both theories made concrete predictions for physical phenomena Nature is the final arbiter carry out experiments UCSD Physics 10 The 3 "Classic" Tests of General Relativity Precession of Mercury's orbit Deflection of starlight (gravitational lensing) Gravitational Redshift UCSD Physics 10 Precession of Mercury's Orbit Newtonian General Relativity UCSD Physics 10 Mercury Precession Known since 1850's not to match Newtonian theory Perihelion precessed by 43 arcseconds per century Would take 30,000 years to go full-circle While putting finishing touches on GR in 1915, Einstein computed expected perihelion precession of Mercury When he got out 43 arcsec/century, his heart fluttered! UCSD Physics 10 Deflection of Starlight Light is deflected by gravitational field called "gravitational lensing" Much like ball deflected by divot UCSD Physics 10 UCSD Physics 10 Think of light as ants trying to go straight In each case, the ants do their best to pick out the straightest path they can. Unless space is flat, they don't stay on parallel lines forever, and either converge or diverge. UCSD Physics 10 Deflection of Starlight During an eclipse, the sky around the sun is dark enough to see distant stars. Stars close to the sun have their light deflected and so appear at a shifted position (farther from sun) Comparing stellar locations with and without the presence of the sun along the line of sight allows for a measurement of the deflection of light rays. UCSD Physics 10 Deflection of Starlight During an Eclipse If deflection = 1.74 arcseconds If deflection = 0.87 arcseconds If deflection = 0.0 arcseconds General Relativity Prediction Newtonian Prediction Both wrong!! Seen at a distance of 4 km, a quarter (25 cents) spans about an arcsecond of angle UCSD Physics 10 Eddington's Eclipse Expedition Experience, 1919 Eddington was a British astronomer (and arrogant!) Decided to go to Principe Island in the Gulf of Guinea After months of drought, it was pouring rain on the day of the eclipse Clouds parted just in time, they took photographic plates showing the location of stars around the limb of the sun Analysis of the photographs back in the UK produced a deflection in agreement with the GR prediction Gravitational Lensing is now a powerful tool in astrophysics UCSD Physics 10 As GR predicts, starlight is deflected UCSD Physics 10 Improvements over Time UCSD Physics 10 Gravitational Redshift Clocks that are deeper in a gravitational potential well (spacetime divot) run more slowly! A clock on earth's surface runs 20 milliseconds slow over the course of a year compared to a clock in space Tested in the 1970's by putting a precision atomic clock on an airplane at high altitude, flying around for a while, and then comparing its elapsed time with that of a clock that was kept on the ground. Difference of a few hundred nanoseconds after 50 hour flight: agreed with GR prediction GPS would be useless without redshift correction! UCSD Physics 10 Lunar Laser Ranging Can test Equivalence Principle (universality of free-fall) by pinging moon with laser pulse GR relies completely on this principle: accelerations independent of massgravity can be "fictitious" force Test Earth and Moon in free fall toward (around) Sun UCSD Physics 10 Lunar Laser Ranging, continued Precisely time round-trip light time to moon (2.5 s) Previous experiments got 23 cm accuracy APOLLO gets 1 mm accuracy Carefully measure orbit and look for distortions or displacements not consistent with GR One part in 1014 precision! Apollo 11 reflector array Apache Point Observatory 3.5 m telescope (NM) UCSD Physics 10 Other Consequences of GR Gravitational Radiation! Laser Interferometric Gravitational Observatory (LIGO) One in Washington state, and one in Louisiana LISA: space-based gravitational wave interferometer Black Holes Expanding Universe (although Einstein missed the chance to predict it!) UCSD Physics 10 LIGO LIGO is a pair of L-shaped laser interferometers (4 km vacuum pipe legs!), with one station in Hanford WA, and the other in Livingston LA. Could be the first to detect grav. waves as black holes inspiral and merge. http://www.ligo.caltech.edu/ UCSD Physics 10 LISA: A space-based grav. wave observatory LISA is like a LIGO in space, with three legs, 5 million km long. Will see gravity waves full time, from many sources (a symphony of waves). Joint European/US project not yet fully funded http://lisa.nasa.gov/ UCSD Physics 10 Is GR the last word on gravity? Probably not: GR and Quantum Mechanics need to be merged Possible hints from observation: Accelerating expansion of the Universe Possible hints from theory: additional dimensions/string theory UCSD Physics 10 References and Assignments Was Einstein Right? by Clifford Will Websites http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tests_of_general_relativity http://physics.ucsd.edu/~tmurphy/apollo/ Assignments Read Hewitt Chapter 22 HW5 due 5/16: 9.R.13, 9.E.9, 9.E.14, 9.E.43, 9.P.7, 10.E.16, 35.R.27, 35.E.6, 35.E.19, 35.E.20, 35.E.37, 35.P.3, 35.P.10, 36.R.7, 36.E.2, 36.E.6 ...
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