NASA's Earth Space-time Vortex Theories

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Dave_HH Posted: Sun, Jan 27 2008 3:15 PM
Do you ever get that feeling that all day you're just taking one step forward, two steps back?  How about that uncanny sort of chill that goes down your spine when you're skulking in late from a night out with the boys, only to realize that your wife or significant other really isn't asleep, she's faking it and your dog-breath, over-indulged, wretchedness won't slide past her, even if you paid her handsomely.  Well, it could just be that you haven't yet mastered all time, space and dimension yet, young Jedi. 

Grand Poo-Baa of all the smart guys in history, Albert Einstein had a theory (well, relatively speaking anyway) that maybe we were all living here on Earth in our own little dimple of "space time".  Err, or maybe that was just the Tequila talking?  Either way, there are more than a few smart folks at Stanford University looking into this one...

"Time and space, according to Einstein's theories of relativity, are woven together, forming a four-dimensional fabric called "space-time." The tremendous mass of Earth dimples this fabric, much like a heavy person sitting in the middle of a trampoline. Gravity, says Einstein, is simply the motion of objects following the curvaceous lines of the dimple.  If Earth were stationary, that would be the end of the story. But Earth is not stationary. Our planet spins, and the spin should twist the dimple, slightly, pulling it around into a 4-dimensional swirl. This is what GP-B went to space to check...

The idea behind the experiment is simple:
Put a spinning gyroscope into orbit around the Earth, with the spin axis pointed toward some distant star as a fixed reference point. Free from external forces, the gyroscope's axis should continue pointing at the star--forever. But if space is twisted, the direction of the gyroscope's axis should drift over time. By noting this change in direction relative to the star, the twists of space-time could be measured.  In practice, the experiment is tremendously difficult."

And we thought benchmarking 3-Way SLI was tough.  We better suck it up a little around here.

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Lev_Astov replied on Mon, Jan 28 2008 10:25 AM
Wait, I read about this very experiment from GP-B a couple years ago in a technical journal. Are they trying it now, or what?

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