Italian scientists dip deep for laser experiments to measure Earth’s rotational effects at greatest ever sensitivity.
Researchers in Italy are hoping to measure Earth’s rotation using a laser-based gyroscope installed deep underground, with enough experimental precision to reveal measurable effects of Einstein’s Gneral Theory of Relativity.
The ring laser gyroscope (RLG) technology enabling these Earth-based measurements provide, unlike those made by referencing celestial objects, inertial rotation information, revealing fluctuations in the rotation rate from the grounded reference frame.
A group from the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics’ Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso (LNGS) are researching the measurement of the gyroscopic precession Earth undergoes due to a relativistic effect called the Lense-Thirring effect.
This research program, called Gyroscopes in General Relativity (GINGER), would eventually use an array of such highly sensitive RLGs. For now, the team say they have successfully demonstrated its prototype, called “GINGERino”, and acquired many additional seismic measurements necessary to help achieve their aims.
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