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Atomic and gravitational clocks

Nature volume 296, pages 709713 (22 April 1982) | Download Citation

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Abstract

Atomic and gravitational clocks are governed by the laws of electrodynamics and gravity respectively. While the strong equivalence principle (SEP) assumes that the two clocks have been synchronous at all times, recent planetary data seem to suggest a possible violation of the SEP. Our past analysis of the implications of an SEP violation on different physical phenomena revealed no disagreement. However, these studies assumed that the two different clocks can be consistently constructed within the framework. The concept of scale invariance, and the physical meaning of different systems of units, are now reviewed and the construction of two clocks that do not remain synchronous—whose rates are related by a non-constant function βa—is demonstrated. The cosmological character of βa is also discussed.

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Author information

Affiliations

  1. NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, Goddard Space Flight Center, New York, New York 10025–7886, USA

    • V. M. Canuto
    •  & I. Goldman
  2. Department of Physics, City College of New York, New York 11031, USA

    • V. M. Canuto

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https://doi.org/10.1038/296709a0

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