Friday, May 06, 2011

Gravity Probe B Confirms Einstein's General Relativity

There are many news article on the latest report from Gravity Probe B stating how the results are consistent with predictions from Einstein's General Relativity (see here, here, and here). But the one I will highlight here is from Jennifer Ouellette who started out her article with ...

It's a sad day for physics crackpots bent on disproving relativity, because once again, it turns out that Einstein was right.

I love it!

Obviously, she had encountered, as I have, all of these sad creatures who continue to want to bash Einstein's Special and General Relativity.

Zz.

7 comments:

Thomas Smid said...

I would always be sceptical if the media are informed before the paper is even published. It smells very much after a publicity stunt in order to justify the $750 million cost of Gravity Probe B. The question arises why it took them 7 years in order to massage the data sufficiently to show the desired effect. This seems very much like a last ditch attempt to present a result that everybody had been expecting.

Thomas

ZapperZ said...

Sorry, but that makes VERY LITTLE sense. They would have gotten even a BIGGER publicity, if that's what they're after, by announcing a result that is INCONSISTENT with Einstein's GR!

You need to be very careful in making a cavalier accusation of such a nature. You seem to not have any idea of the type of scrutiny and review that any publicly-funded research work has to go through. Unless you have definite information to make such a statement, it is totally irresponsible to bring it up.

It took 7 years because this is a difficult measurement, and it needed a large statistics.

Zz.

Thomas Smid said...

I was not referring to publicity for its own sake, but publicity that would make funding of their next project just that little bit easier. And I doubt very much that a result inconsistent with GR with have achieved this. Since GR would hardly had been revised on the basis of this one result, they would have had to launch a repeat experiment and do another few years of data analysis. Who would pay for this? Nobody. As far as I am aware, it was anyway only kept alive for the last couple of years through private funding ( see this New Scientist Article ), and these resources have presumably in the meanwhile dried up as well. So they had simply to produce some sort of result very soon or admit failure in this point (which wouldn't boosted the reputation and funding prospects of the group either).

I have worked long enough in physics research to know what people do if things do not quite work out as planned. Every measure will be undertaken to squeeze some sort of acceptable result out of the data, even if it takes several years. And do you really think a referee would reject a paper that people have worked on for so long to complete, especially as now everybody can go to rest and consider the matter settled?

Had the authors made the details of the data analysis available to the scrutiny of the wider scientific community already, then one could at least concentrate on concrete scientific issues here, but instead just holding press conferences and not even giving a download link to a preprint on ( their web page is a rather irritating situation and, considering the above arguments, even foul smelling (if you have some sense of smell).

Thomas

ZapperZ said...

Again, you have no evidence. What you have is a bunch of innuendos and guesses. I can play the same game and conclude the opposite conclusion. Then we're back to square one.

BTW, if you've read all the news article carefully, AND at the NASA/Gravity Probe B website, you would have noticed that the result is to be published in PRL. So there!

Zz.

Jay Dawg said...

Well its a shame that anyone would start a physics blog accusing some physicists as being 'physics crackpots' (not that there aren't paid for opinions) when all physicists are in the pursuit of TRUTH and not allegiance... Proof is truth that all should be able to understand .. Einstein was a human being not a God ... and at this point LIGO still has not detected gravitational waves .. We'll see what happens with LISA

Jay Dawg said...

Its sad a blog would begin accusing some physicists as crackpots ...

ZapperZ said...

Jay Dawg:you need to learn how to read things accurately. Jennifer said physics crackpots, NOT physicists who are crackpots!

It makes the rest of your comments moot.

Zz.