20 sep 2011

NASA mission to verify Einstein’s general relativity (2011)

Submitted by Anonyme (non vérifié)

We communists are partisan of Einstein (and of general relativity), and not of quantum mechanics, scientific vision that is the mirror of the bourgeoisie’s intellectual conception.

If understanding all the details of this ideological conflict is most of the time difficult, it is indeed very easy to understand the issue : on one side, there is the synthetic vision, that considers that the movement of matter is organized (and understandable), and on the other, there is the statistical reading of the world, founded on a separated vision of « individuals. »

It is so very interesting to see the results made public by the NASA some days ago, about an experiment having taken place in 2004 and 2005, and which the technical evaluation has been difficult.

The principle is the following: the NASA has sent a satellite in space, a satellite named « Gravity Probe B » (the “A” one has been already sent in 1976), at an altitude of 642 km.

On board, four gyroscopes have been placed; their size were the one of a table tennis ball, at the time they were the most round object made by humankind (with a maximal thickness difference of 40 atoms).

The schema shows here the gyroscope principle. The principle of the satellite embedded gyroscopes is to have a round form, rotating around an axis and keeping his orientation.

Those gyroscopes have been placed in superfluid helium, at a temperature of -271 °C, because the goal of the operation was the following: in which measure the rotation of the gyroscopes would be modified by planet Earth?

Planet Earth is indeed doing two things. First, it exerts a gravitational force, that distorts time and space around an object, and that because of its mass.

Space-time continuum is a bit like a sheet stretched disturbed by a petanque big ball that would have been put on it. If a ball started going in the « hollow »caused by the petanque ball, it would circle around the ball.

But that’s not all. Earth rotates. It therefore dragg space-time continuum in its motion.

To sum up: if Einstein is right, then space-time continuum is curved due to the mass of the Earth, and there is also an axis that is shifted. This should be checked with the gyroscopes.


So, on Earth, a direction has been chosen, and ​the four gyroscopes were made pointing toward it: a star named IM Pegasi (which required a single second launch window because of the precise orbit required!).

 It was therefore necessary that in the gyroscopes, which were running at 5,000 revolutions per minute, there is little friction as possible, to calculate the more precisely possible the influence of gravity solely. Hence the superfluid helium: the gyroscopes were each forming a space-time frame of reference as perfect as possible.


Any influence on a gyroscope could be caused only by planet Earth, because of its mass and its movement. Which was established: we have 0.0018 degrees per year for the space-time warping and 0.000011 degrees per year for the twist (you can see a presentation of results here, and a video presentation of the experience there).

 The bourgeois commentators have much rambled on this mission that has cost hundreds of millions of dollars to verify something that is already known. But precisely the position of PCMLM allows to grasp the background of the mission.


This background is revealed in what said a NASA official, astrophysicist Bill Danchi:

“Every future challenge to Einstein’s theories of general relativity will have to seek more precise measurements than the remarkable work GP-B accomplished.”

Here is so the background: the titanic battle between general relativity and quantum mechanics. A battle that the socialist revolution in France will finally decided, in the progressive sense, by the many studies and achievements permitted by the socialist mode of production and the adoption by the broad masses of dialectical materialism.

The experience of satellite mission GP-B is a contribution to the strengthening of our camp. There is no reason to give in to statistical delirium of the bourgeoisie. The universe responds to a law, that of the contradiction of ceaseless transformation of eternal matter.

Everything is explainable by this law; as Lenin said, « the theory of Marx is all-powerful because it is right. » Such is the unwavering position of PCMLM. Defending Einstein, it is contributing to the defense of science against the irrational onslaughts of quantum mechanics.