Atom Interferometer Measurement of the Newtonian Constant of Gravity

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Science  05 Jan 2007:
Vol. 315, Issue 5808, pp. 74-77
DOI: 10.1126/science.1135459

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We measured the Newtonian constant of gravity, G, using a gravity gradiometer based on atom interferometry. The gradiometer measures the differential acceleration of two samples of laser-cooled Cs atoms. The change in gravitational field along one dimension is measured when a well-characterized Pb mass is displaced. Here, we report a value of G = 6.693 × 10–11 cubic meters per kilogram second squared, with a standard error of the mean of ±0.027 × 10–11 and a systematic error of ±0.021 × 10–11 cubic meters per kilogram second squared. The possibility that unknown systematic errors still exist in traditional measurements makes it important to measure G with independent methods.

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