Gravitational Experiments in the Laboratory

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This book provides an up-to-date account of the precise experiments that can be performed in a terrestrial laboratory and are used to explore the nature of universal gravitation. The experiments required are at the limits of sensitivity of mechanical measurements. The problems of experiment design are discussed, and critical accounts given of the principal experiments testing the inverse square law and the principle of equivalence, and measuring the constant of gravitation. An analysis of the effects of noise and other disturbances is also provided, further highlighting the care that is needed in experimental design and performance. The motivation for undertaking such experiments is also discussed.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Y.T. Chen and A. Cook give a comprehensive review...It is quite an appropriate time for this book to have appeared...The book will be of great value to research workers in the field...this is a useful volume which should find a home on many shelves in research laboratories and technical libraries." Timothy John Sumner, Times Education Supplement

"...a volume that will be valuable not only to the community of gravitational physicists but also to the larger body of scientific workers who have an interest in precision measurements....the authors maintain a focus on the fundamental design issues as well as the practical considerations of building and using high-sensitivity devices like the torsion pendulum....a scholarly assessment of the field of gravitational experimentation at the close of a century." George T. Gillies, Science

"Of value to graduate students in astronomy or anyone engaged in very precise measurements of gravitation, or related theoretical considerations." The New York Public Library

"...a summary of current methods for measuring gravitational attraction. The main objectives of these studies are to improve our knowledge of the gravitational constant and to determine if there are subtle, perturbing influences not accounted for in present theory...billed as a book for researchers and graduate students, but this should not deter people from outside the specialty from reading it." William R. Green, Geophysics

" effort of high quality." Rogers Ritter, Foundations of Physics

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521675536
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 7/31/2005
  • Pages: 284
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Table of Contents

1. Introduction; 2. The linear oscillator driven by thermal noise and with electrical damping; 3. External sources of noise, and design of experiments; 4. The weak principle of equivalence; 5. Verification of the weak principle of equivalence for free particles; 6. Newtonian attractors of extended bodies; 7. Experimental tests of the inverse square law; 8. The constant of gravitation; 9. Conclusion; References; Index.

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