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Time dilation experiments with spacecraft

  1. Aug 30, 2006 #1

    Phobos

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    I assume this has been done, but I have not seen any papers on it. For example, with the Voyagers travelling at however-many-tens-of-thousands-of-mph with respect to us, we should be able to measure the slower tick of their internal clocks (e.g., slower signalling). Perhaps this hasn't been done since the scientists involved have better things to investigate with the Voyager data than to do basic Relativity. But I'm curious if it's been done.
     
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  3. Aug 30, 2006 #2

    quasar987

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    Haven't they done this with a clock in an airplane in the early days of SR? I read they did in a textbook. Excuse me for not having any precise reference for you.
     
  4. Aug 30, 2006 #3
    While I do not question slower clock speeds for a moment, later experiments found clear evidence, however the quality of the first experiment, the Hafele-Keating experiment, is barely higher than in the plainly embarrassing case in Principe of Eddington which measured the light curvature around the sun.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2006
  5. Aug 30, 2006 #4
    Yes, it is done daily, via the corrections that have been uploaded in the GPS sattelites. The clocks loaded on the GPS sattelites have been corrected prior to launch in order to account for both the SR time dilation, for the Sagnac effect, Doppler effect and for the GR frequency shift due to variable gravitational field. So, all these relativistic effects are being "tested" on a daily basis. See here:

    http://relativity.livingreviews.org/Articles/lrr-2003-1/
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2006
  6. Aug 30, 2006 #5

    pervect

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    I believe one of the more precise experiments was the "Scout rocket experiment". This was a test of general realtivity, though, rather than a test of special relativity. I

    See for instance:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scout_rocket_experiment
     
  7. Aug 31, 2006 #6

    ZapperZ

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