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Can Equivalence Principle Be Violated?

  1. Jul 28, 2011 #1
    Read about this experiment and the results obtained:


    What's going on here? Why is the laser gyro accelerating? If this effect proves to be reproducible, would it not indicate the violability of the so-called Equivalence Principle? How can this be possible?

    Is this the inverse of the Unruh effect? Could it enable propellantless propulsion?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 28, 2011 #2


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    It does not look like sound science to me.

    Crackpot idea.

    'So-called' ? Crackpot language.
  4. Jul 28, 2011 #3
    This is quite a strange effect, and the explanation proposed is even weirder. The equivalence of inertial mass and gravitational mass is a key piece in the current theories and especially GR, so I would say that one must have a very very solid case to refute it.
    So even if the effect is reproducible, it wouldn't indicate EP violation, since the effect might be better explained some other way.
  5. Jul 28, 2011 #4


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    The PhysOrg.com article is a bit thin. It is drawn primarily from a paper by M. E. McCullock, Can the Tajmar effect be explained using a modification of inertia? http://iopscience.iop.org/0295-5075/89/1/19001/pdf/0295-5075_89_1_19001.pdf and perhaps to some extent a previous paper also by McCullock, The Tajmar effect from quantised inertia: http://iopscience.iop.org/0295-5075/95/3/39002/pdf/epl_95_3_39002.pdf.

    The laser gyroscope experiments were actually performed by Tajmar. McCullock references several of his papers. I don't have copies or links to Tajmar's papers, at this time.

    I have only had time for a first read through. McCullock obviously believes he is describing the mechanism of inertia. Though I find his papers interesting, I am yet skeptical. It will take time to digest in a serious way. Having only just become aware of the work and the scope of his claims, including frame dragging, the flyby anomaly, inertia itself and the pioneer anomally.., well for me, it is a lot to consider and integrate.

    While the I think the PhysOrg article mentioned the potential to harness inertia should the work prove up, that seems a stretch. On the other hand if he is even just on to something that needs further development and does address the mechanism of inertia, there seems the potential for some exciting times ahead.

    Let the sensation die down and I am not sure it will get much serious attention. While it may be exciting to connect so many unexplained or under explained phenomena, it is a bit ambitious.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 26, 2017
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