September 21, 2022
The story goes that Italian Astronomer Galileo Galilei ascended the Leaning Tower of Pisa in the 16th century, dropping two spheres of various masses simultaneously, proving they would hit the ground at the same time.
Although the famous demonstration may not have occurred (many experts believe that it was a mere thought experiment) It is a good illustration of one of Albert Einstein's biggest concepts , the weak equivalence concept.
In essence, the concept states that two objects falling at the same time must be accelerating at the same speed regardless of their mass or the materials they're constructed of.
On Earth Naturally air resistance as well as other elements can alter the way an object is lowered. Thus, scientists have conducted an experiment to test the principle of weak equivalence inside a satellite.
The research that was released this week by the journal Physical Review Letters, provides the most exact confirmation of Einstein's theories ever, according to the Science's Jacklin Kwan.
In 2016, researchers delivered masses of platinum and titanium alloys to space aboard French satellite MICROSCOPE according to Space.com's Robert Lea.
When the satellite was orbiting Earth and the satellite's objects were in continuous free fall, static electricity was working to keep them steady.
A sensor in the electrical field measured the voltage required to maintain each mass's position This revealed the mass' accelerations, according to Science.