Adventures in Space-Time

Adventures in Space-Time

Albert Einstein’s predicted gravitational waves were first detected experimentally by the American LIGO team earlier this year. LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) comprises two huge ground installations in the United States, in which hydraulic rams are used to stabilize the four-kilometer-long arms of the interferometers against terrestrial perturbations. A prodigious feat of engineering in itself.

In a news release, 7th June, 2016, the LIGO team congratulated the European Space Agency on the proof-of-principle of its space-based interferometer, Lisa Pathfinder (Laser Interferometer Space Antenna). Le Figaro’s senior science reporter, Tristan Vey, explains.

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French Satellite Tests General Relativity

French Satellite Tests General Relativity

Launched on Friday [15th April], the experiment will attempt to falsify the “principle of equivalence”, which is the foundation of the theory of General Relativity.

Einstein had better watch out. Built by Cnes, the French space agency, a small satellite, Microscope, is expected to lift off on Friday evening [15th April] from Kourou in French Guiana, on board a Soyuz rocket, with the unbridled ambition of questioning the foundation on which General Relativity is built: the principle of equivalence. What is this, exactly?

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