Concept

Gravity Probe A

Summary
Gravity Probe A (GP-A) was a space-based experiment to test the equivalence principle, a feature of Einstein's theory of relativity. It was performed jointly by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The experiment sent a hydrogen masera highly accurate frequency standardinto space to measure with high precision the rate at which time passes in a weaker gravitational field. Masses cause distortions in spacetime, which leads to the effects of length contraction and time dilation, both predicted results of Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity. Because of the bending of spacetime, an observer on Earth (in a lower gravitational potential) should measure a slower rate at which time passes than an observer that is higher in altitude (at higher gravitational potential). This effect is known as gravitational time dilation. The experiment was a test of a major consequence of Einstein's general relativity, the equivalence princ
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