Sunday, January 01, 2006

Einstein Was Right (Again):

Lubos Motl:
In the particular case of the recent "E=mc^2 tests", the accuracy was "10^{-7}" while we know experimentally that the relativistic relations are accurate with the accuracy "10^{-10}", see Alan Kostelecky's website for more concrete details. We just know that we can't observe new physics by this experiment.

NIST and MIT Confirm that E= mc2
An instrument called GAMS4, originally designed and built at NIST and now located at Institut Laue Langevin in France, was used in experiments that helped to confirm Einstein’s famous equation E=mc². GAMS4 measured the angle at which gamma rays are diffracted by two identical crystals made of atoms separated by a known distance. The two crystals are the dark gray rectangles on circular platforms in the foreground and background of the photo.

The gamma rays in this process have wavelengths of less than a picometer, a million times smaller than visible light, and are diffracted or bent by the atoms in the calibrated crystals at a particular energy-dependent angle. Using a well-known mathematical formula, scientists can combine these angles with values for the crystal lattice spacing to determine the energy contained in individual gamma ray particles.

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